According to information recently released by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado, one horse was euthanized and 144 others 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 site. The operation took place on January 11 and 12.
Authorities’ on-site investigation and initial veterinary assessments by Dr. Courtney Diehl of the Dumb Friends League resulted in 144 horses being seized and transported to the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center in Franktown, according to a statement from the office. of the sheriff.
The sheriff’s office said that due to extreme emaciation and severe, untreated injuries, one horse was unable to make the safe journey to Harmony without continued pain and suffering. Therefore, the on-site veterinarian decided it was in the horse’s best interest to be humanely euthanized on-site, according to the statement.
The statement adds that the veterinarian assessing the horses determined that 38 horses were in adequate condition and were released to the owner with instructions to arrange for immediate veterinary follow-up.
Snow Mountain Stables did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to the Colorado Secretary of State, Snow Mountain Stables was established in November 2019 with a registered agent under the same name.
Seized horses will remain in the care and custody of the Colorado Humane Society throughout the investigation, with future placement or return of animals to be determined by legal process or state law.
HORSES UNDER EVALUATION
The sheriff’s office said each horse is assessed for injury, illness and malnutrition. Horses with serious illnesses receive immediate veterinary care. The statement said that all horses are currently safe and receiving plenty of food and water, with many facing “a long road to recovery”.
The stables at this location were operated by a private provider 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.
“The YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch is saddened by the events of the 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 works closely with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said the investigation into this active matter is ongoing. No decision on the charges has yet been made.
The Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone who has been a direct witness to this matter to contact them at (970) 725-3343 or email [email protected] and provide an official statement if they have not already done so.
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 Center equine participated in the response.
This is the second animal abuse investigation in Grand County this week, with 15 dogs seized from a Gore Pass home on Sunday. A man faces 15 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty in the case.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with comments from the Rockies-Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA and additional information about Snow Mountain Stables.