Seized Utah Horses to be Sold at Auction

More than 30 allegedly maltreated horses seized by Utah law enforcement authorities will be sold at auction to recover costs connected to their care.

Utah County Sheriff's Deputy John O'Hara said the horses are among 80 animals belonging to Trudy and Rory Childs that authorities removed from a ranch in Spanish Fork. O'Hara said that at the time of the seizure, the horses were malnourished.

“The horses at this location were clearly suffering from malnourishment and dehydration,” O'Hara said. “All of the trees in the area had been stripped of all bark and small twigs within reach by the horses in their effort to find food.

“We also found an open pit with horse carcasses in it and evidence of prior pits that Rory Childs admitted burying horses in,” O'Hara said.

Several other allegedly maltreated horses were also found at other locations, O'Hara said.

Trudy and Rory Childs were subsequently charged with 20 counts of animal cruelty. Neither Trudy nor Rory Childs was available for comment.

Following their seizure, some of the horses were placed in the custody of the Utah County Sheriff's Department, while another 20 animals were placed in the care of a local horse rescue, O'Hara said; other horses were rescued in place, he said, and some remained in Rory Childs' custody. A Utah County judge allowed Childs to sell some of those horses to pay for the care of other animals, O'Hara said.

On May 15, Fourth District Judge Fred Howard granted a motion from the Utah County Attorney's Office allowing the Sheriff's Department to sell 39 of the horses still in the department's custody, O'Hara said.

The auction sale is slated to take place on May 29. Proceeds will defray the sheriff department's costs of caring for the horses, O'Hara said.

Meanwhile, Trudy and Rory Childs are slated to appear in court on June 11 in connection with the case.

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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