Charges Filed in Utah Horse Cruelty Case

A Utah man is facing more than 20 counts of animal cruelty for allegedly maltreating horses on his Cache County property.

Lt. Brian Locke, of the Cache County Sheriff's Department, said that earlier this month a tipster reported seeing a heard of horses residing on property owned by Darwin Nielson. Nielson also owned the horses, Locke said. An investigation by law enforcement personnel and an inspector from the Utah State Veterinarian's Office revealed that 25 allegedly malnourished horses, ranging in age from 8 months to several years, were residing on the property with inadequate food resources, Locke said. The horses subsequently came under the Cache County Sheriff's Department's care; the animals remain on the property under care of equine community volunteers supervised by Sheriff's Department personnel, he said.

"The horses were malnourished and it's getting pretty cold here, so we decided to feed them in place," Locke said. "We felt that the stress of moving them could possibly cause further problems."

Nielson was unavailable for comment.

On Jan. 22, Nielson was charged with 25 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Each charge carries penalties of up to 6 months in jail and fines of up to $1,500, Locke said.

The case remains pending.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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