One horse euthanized, 144 seized in Snow Mountain Stables animal cruelty investigation
According to newly released information from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, one horse was euthanized and another 144 seized during an investigation into allegations of animal cruelty and neglect at the Snow Mountain Stables.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant in coordination with partner agencies including the Colorado Humane Society at the Snow Mountain Stables location. The operation took place Tuesday and Wednesday.
The on-scene investigation by officials and and initial veterinarian assessments by Dr. Courtney Diehl with the Dumb Friends League resulted in officials seizing 144 horses and transporting them to the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center in Franktown, according to a sheriff’s office statement.
The sheriff’s office said due to extreme emaciation and severe, untreated injuries, one horse was unable to make the trip safely to Harmony without continued pain and suffering. Therefore, the veterinarian on site decided it was in the best interest of the horse to be humanely euthanized on scene, according to the statement.
The statement added that the veterinarian evaluating the horses made the determination that 38 horses were in adequate condition and were released to the owner with direction to arrange immediate follow up veterinarian care.
Snow Mountain Stables did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to the Colorado Secretary of State, Snow Mountain Stables was formed in November 2019 with a registered agent under the same name.
The seized horses will remain in the care and custody of the Colorado Humane Society throughout the investigation with the future placement or return of the animals to be determined by the judicial process or state law.
The sheriff’s office said each horse is being evaluated for injuries, illness and malnutrition. Horses with serious conditions are receiving immediate veterinary care. The statement said currently, all horses are safe, secure and being provided lots of food and water, with many facing “a long road to recovery.”
The stables at this location were operated through a private vendor under contract with the YMCA of the Rockies-Snow Mountain Ranch, and are not owned or operated by the YMCA of the Rockies. That contract has been terminated, according to Amy Wolf, marketing manager for Snow Mountain Ranch.
“YMCA Of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch is saddened by the events of this past week,” she said in an emailed statement. “We support the Grand County Sheriff’s Office and our entire community in our commitment to ensuring a safe place for all living things.”
Wolf added that Snow Mountain Ranch is working closely with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said the investigation into this active case is ongoing. No decisions on charges have yet been made.
The sheriff’s office encourages anyone that was a direct witness to this case to contact them at 970-725-3343 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and provide an official statement if they have not already.
Grand County Animal Control, 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Colorado Human Society, East Grand Fire Protection District, Grand Fire Protection District, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, and the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center assisted in the response.
This is the second investigation of animal abuse in Grand County this week, with the seizure of 15 dogs from a Gore Pass home on Sunday. A man is facing 15 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty in that case.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from YMCA of the Rockies-Snow Mountain Ranch and additional information about Snow Mountain Stables.
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