Top 5 most read stories on, week of Jan. 9 |

Top 5 most read stories on, week of Jan. 9

The omicron variant, teal, has become the dominant variant in Colorado much quicker than the delta variant, pink, did this summer.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment/Courtesy

1. Colorado’s omicron driven COVID spike has reached record heights. Here’s how to make sense of it.

Colorado’s omicron variant-driven surge in coronavirus infections is obliterating daily records in the state, leading to the most dizzying spike of the pandemic.

At the same time, hospitalizations during the spike are rising slower — though still at a worrying rate.

The result is a fast-changing situation that is challenging some of the state’s foremost experts at tracking the pandemic and predicting where it will go next.

2. 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.

3. Sheriff’s office investigating animal cruelty at Snow Mountain Stables

On Tuesday, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant on Snow Mountain Stables in Granby following accusations of animal abuse and neglect.

In partnership with the Colorado Humane Society and other agencies, the sheriff’s office is assessing the horses on the site, as well as investigating the potential abuse.

The Snow Mountain Stables is located on YMCA of the Rockies property, but is a private contractor and not owned or operated by the YMCA of the Rockies.

4. Dog rescued after 20-minute avalanche burial on Berthoud Pass in viral video

A successful avalanche rescue of a dog on Berthoud Pass is a reminder of the dangers of the backcountry.

Robert White, who posted the GoPro footage on his YouTube channel, explained in the video description that he and his friend witnessed a large avalanche on Dec. 26 off the Nitro Shoots at Berthoud Pass. A dog from a separate party had wondered off into avalanche terrain and was swept over the cliffs.

The video can be seen at and contains profanity.

5. Man facing charges after 15 dogs seized from home

Following the Sunday seizure of 15 dogs from a Gore Pass home, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office has filed charges of animal cruelty and neglect against the owner.

Etheridge Hughes, 52, is facing 15 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty after the sheriff’s office received a tip about animal neglect at his property.

On Sunday, police found several short-haired mixed-breed dogs being housed outside and seized 15 for medical evaluation. Four dogs were not taken because they appeared adequately cared for, GCSO Public Information Officer Erin Opsahl said.

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