Snow Mountain Stable employee pleads guilty to animal cruelty |

Snow Mountain Stable employee pleads guilty to animal cruelty

Staff report

One of the employees involved in an animal cruelty case at Snow Mountain Stables has pleaded guilty to one count of a Class 1 misdemeanor cruelty to animals. He will be sentenced on April 25, at the 14th Judicial District Court in Grand County.

Following an investigation by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in early 2022, Derek Zurface was facing more than 90 counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals as well as three felony charges of cruelty to animals, which were dismissed by the district attorney’s office.

According to Colorado law, the class 1 misdemeanor lists acts such as overworking, tormenting, depriving of sustenance, beating, housing an animal in a way that causes repeated harm or injury, confining in a reckless manner, or otherwise mistreating animals.

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the Snow Mountain Stables on Jan.11-12, 2022. During that investigation, 144 horses were seized, one was euthanized and 38 remained in the care of the owner.
Grand County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy photo

After receiving reports of alleged animal abuse and dead horses on the Snow Mountain Stables property, the sheriff’s office and the Colorado Humane Society conducted an investigation on Jan. 11-12, 2022, which resulted in the seizure of 144 horses and one horse being euthanized.

One of the other employees of Snow Mountain Stables that was arrested on similar charges no longer has their public court records available, so the outcome of the person’s case is unknown.

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