More Than 30 Horses Seized from Colorado Ranch

More than 30 allegedly maltreated horses and other equines are under rehabilitative care after being removed from a Pueblo County, Colo., ranch earlier this month.

Erica Meyer, communications specialist for the Humane Society for the Pikes Peak Region said that on Jan. 6 in response to a tip, Pueblo Animal Law Enforcement Officers discovered 34 horses, donkeys, and mules, along with 31 dogs, a cat, and a llama residing on a Boone property. Two horses and a donkey were also discovered dead on the property, Meyer said. The surviving horses, donkeys, and mules were all allegedly malnourished and living in deplorable conditions.

"There was no hay on the property; water buckets were either empty or frozen over, and the animals were standing in mud and feces," Meyer said.

Acting on a warrant, animal welfare authorities and personnel from other animal welfare organizations subsequently removed the equines along with the other animals, Meyer said. All the animals are receiving veterinary and other rehabilitative care, she said.

The animals' owner, Valarie Christine Harris, was subsequently arrested and charged with Class 6 Felony Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, Meyer said.

Harris is being held at the Pueblo County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bond, Meyer said.

Harris was unavailable for comment.

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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