Colorado Rescue Operator Sentenced to Service, Probation

Alesha Matchett, the Colorado woman who pleaded guilty in August to one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty for neglecting horses at a rescue ranch she operated, was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and four years supervised probation during an Oct. 1 appearance in Larimer County District Court.

Matchett was charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty on Dec. 29, 2007, after Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden ordered the removal of 27 animals, including 16 malnourished horses, from Matchett's Animal Angels Horse Rescue ranch (read more about the seizure).

During her probation period, Matchett can keep a maximum of 10 "animal units" on her property. In Colorado, large animals such as horses represent more "animal units" than small animals do.

"So the number of animals she's allowed to have will depend upon what kind of animals they are," said Linda Jensen, public information officer for Larimer County District court. "And local animal welfare authorities will conduct monthly site visits to monitor the animals' care."

Matchett is also prohibited from engaging in public service projects that involve animals, Jensen said.

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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