Brunzell/Dual Peppy Summary and Sentencing

Dual Peppy, in his prime.

Dual Peppy, in his prime.

The story began in Black Forest, just east of Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Friday afternoon, September 19, 2014. A neighbor followed her dog into a close-by barn to find ten seriously thin horses and four llamas. She saw deplorable conditions with manure everywhere, several feet deep in places, and tarps on the ground covering the skeletons of more horses. She immediately called the Sheriff’s office as well as the press. Deputies gave the owner, Ms. Sherry Brunzell an order to comply stating that the horses needed foot care and to clean up the barn.

The story aired on the news and a photo of one of the horses was almost immediately recognized as Dual Peppy, a well-known Quarter Horse stallion. The Sheriff’s office received countless emails and phone calls as the story went viral over that weekend. Law enforcement returned to the barn three days later with a search warrant and a veterinarian. They seized the ten surviving horses, four lamas, and documented skeletal remains of a total of fourteen horses, over half the herd.

Seven months later, on May 26th, the case came to trial. Brunzell was charged with fourteen counts (ten horses, four llamas) of Cruelty to Animals, a Class 1 misdemeanor. Inconclusive DNA on the skeletal remains meant that she could not be charged for the deaths of the other horses. The trial lasted four days with the attorneys on both sides presenting their case before Judge Stephen J. Sletta. (See reports from trial here.) The prosecution laid out their case with logical precision, calling officers from the Human Society, Sheriff’s office, and several veterinarians involved in the case. Before and after photos were shown of each of the horses, along with records of their initial evaluations and prescribed care since arriving at Harmony Equine, a facility used by the county for this purpose. Mrs. Brunzell testified last, saying she had horses all her life; that she disagreed with common knowledge about issues of feeding, dental care, and hoof trimming. She felt she knew more than the experts and she showed no remorse.

The jury found Brunzell guilty on eight charges of Animal Cruelty. She was found not guilty on two of the horses whose body score was slightly higher and the four llamas.

On August 13th, we met again for the sentencing portion of the trial. Judge Sletta called us to order and this time the courtroom was filled with spectators from both sides. Testimony began with character witnesses for Mrs. Brunzell. Three men spoke briefly, and then Chief Deputy District Attorney Shannon Gerhart and Defense attorney Andrew Bryant each made statements.

There were high moments, as both the prosecution and Judge Sletta mentioned the horses who survived that horrible barn in Black Forest and those who did not. Brunzell, who never acknowledged any responsibility or remorse, through her attorney, continued to make excuses and minimize the condition of the horses.

In pronouncing sentence, Sletta said that there were no excuses for this level of neglect because Brunzell was not a novice horse owner.  He gave the full sentence possible for eight counts of Cruelty to Animals. Sletta added that if he had the power to give more, he would have.

The sentence includes 60 days in jail, with 5 years’ probation where she cannot own, possess, control, or care for horses or livestock. She must attend sixteen counseling sessions and pay court costs. Finally, she must relinquish all registration papers so that the Sheriff’s office, in cooperation with the Humane Society can sell the horses, with the proceeds to go toward restitution.

And just as there was a communal sigh, the defense made a motion for an appeal. The judge set a date to hear that motion on September 17th, two days shy of the anniversary of their discovery. The horses will continue where they are for another month.

Horse Advocates is happy with the sentence. In light of the current laws, it was the best we could hope for. We were present for every moment of this trial and there is so much to be gained from watching the legal process.

For most of us, what we know about court we’ve seen on TV. Those attorneys are actors, reading from a script. In the real world there’s less theater and more monotony. Law books are checked and the case isn’t resolved in sixty minutes, minus the commercials. At the same time, we at Horse Advocates are convinced that attending court makes a difference. Being there for the horses sends a message that the public is concerned. And being a witness to the trial gives information that we wouldn’t know otherwise, and when we know more, we can do better. The public response on this case had an impact for the better; a huge thank you to everyone who participated on any level–holding the belief that these horses matter.

The final thought must be for the horses. Originally this hand-picked herd cost an estimated 1.5 million dollars. Each horse, the mares as well, were impeccably bred. Dual Peppy was performance trained and well-respected. We are so relieved that these horses were seized by the Sheriff’s office and receiving the care they needed so badly during the months that this case was in litigation. Horses have shorter lives than humans and this herd has suffered enough.

When we last heard, Dual Peppy, a senior at 22, was in guarded condition. As he gained weight, his lameness got a bit worse. He is having the finest care possible with great vet attention, but a guarded condition is not good. The other nine horses, some of whom are quite young, will wait a while longer to learn their fate from us humans. Horse Advocates hopes for the day to come soon when each horse finds a human partner who gives top priority to their care, as well as their overall well-being and happiness. We hope they find the safety and security of a true home.

Horse Advocates of Colorado.

Horses Trying to Survive the Legal System: Two Cases

Horse Advocates of Colorado’s goal is to be a voice for horses, especially in the legal system. We’ve been a bit quiet these last two weeks. The Dual Peppy case was a long week for us; it’s hard for horsewomen to sit inside all week and emotionally exhausting to listen to the horrible details of neglect and the excuses offered from the defense.

At the same time, there are other cases moving forward in El Paso county. One of them involves two minis named Cookie and Misty, and Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue. These two minis originally came from a hoarding/neglect situation. Misty is younger and larger; the dominant mare of the pair. Cookie is older, smaller and more passive.

When animals are adopted from a rescue, there are usually a few pages of information given about the individual animals, as well as vet information and directions for the ongoing required care. In the case of this pair, directions went past healthy management to some special ongoing dental concerns for Cookie. Adopting from any rescue also includes signing a contract, agreeing to give the care needed, allowing the rescue to check up on the animals, and reclaim them if the contract agreements are not met.

The adoption process, for horses, dogs or cats, is more involved than a simple purchase because in rescue there is a “never again” commitment. That once the animals are rescued from the initial neglectful situation and returned to health and emotional well-being, the rescue and the adopter promise that the animal will never again return to the pain and stress of neglect and cruelty. This situation is different from most cases in court because of this legal contract. The usual case is like Dual Peppy; the owners make no legal promise for care once the purchase is complete.

Last November, 2014, a welfare check was done and Cookie and Misty were in trouble. Both had lost substantial weight, promised vet work had not been done, and in Cookie’s case, she was barely able to eat and looking quite frail. Ruby Ranch reclaimed the horses, with the understanding and agreement of the adopter. Over the next three months the minis got the needed health care and were on put a refeeding program and the adopter changed her mind and wanted them back. The board of directors at Ruby Ranch declined to return them after vet findings confirmed the physical condition of the minis was as bad, probably worse, than when they first came into rescue.

In February of 2015, the Sheriff’s Department ordered Ruby Ranch to return the minis to the adopter, because the she held the brand inspection. Most rescues generally keep the brand inspection for a few months, but then send it along as the adoption is finalized, knowing that the contract is binding. In the case of Misty and Cookie, the Sheriff decided to uphold the brand inspection instead of the contract. (In other cases, they have upheld the contract.)

Again, what makes this case different is there was a signed, legal contract that was broken. And being forced to return Misty and Cookie to adopters who had not cared for them was doubly heartbreaking knowing the horse’s previous history. During the Dual Peppy case, the public outcry that the horses not be returned to Brunzell has been the most common comment, and in this case that is exactly what happened.

But rant and scream all you want. You can say the abusers deserve to go to jail forever or never be allowed to own a horse again. Sometimes an angry rant feels pretty good, but in the United States, we are bound by the order of law from both the sheriff’s office and the court system. Horse Advocates supports our legal system, as we work to improve it.

One more big difference in these two cases is the location of the animals during the court process. The Dual Peppy herd was seized and taken to a facility where they are being given the best of care, paid for by Brunzell. By the time sentencing comes in August, she will have paid over $60,000 for their care in the months the trial has gone on, and as we saw in court, the horses have really improved in weight, hoof condition and dental care. Our hope is that they not be returned but go through a rescue, like Misty and Cookie did, to have a contract and a “never again” promise. And we pray that their potential adopters will keep their word–even as we know the court may return the horses to their owner, found guilty on 8 counts of animal cruelty.

In civil court, where Ruby Ranch is working to get Misty and Cookie back, they are told it can take up to a year to get a trial date. They are faced with pointless motions to dismiss, or requests for extensions of time, both actions feeling like stall tactics from opposing counsel. The result is increased expense for the rescue, decreased ability of the rescue to continue its mission statement.

Adoption contract language is simple and easily understood. Breach of contract is clearly established by loss of weight and lack of veterinary attention in a timely manner, resulting is pain and suffering for both minis. What possible reason could be given in a court of law to defend the weight loss and neglect of the dental issues of these minis?

But these minis are not as “lucky” as the Dual Peppy horses. They will spend the time the legal system takes in the poor care of their adopter. We have had eyes on the minis very recently, describing missed feedings, lack of attention to one or both, water buckets not filled, too much dry lot time, not enough enrichment. In other words, things there have not changed.

Cookie before adoption.

There is nothing Ruby Ranch can do as Cookie and Misty languish, waiting to be rescued one more time. The sheriff’s office does not use any of these criteria as determination of the welfare of the horse. The sheriff uses criteria such as water availability, hay on the property, and whether the horses “look” healthy.

And at the time of their return, after three months of professional care at Ruby Ranch, they were both looking better…but they are on a roller coaster of care. There is deep concern for Misty and especially for Cookie, not as resilient due to age and physical condition.

Horses have rather short and fragile lives. As the court system drags on and attorneys do battle for their human clients, our concern is always for the horses involved. As the Dual Peppy horses are having some of the best care of their lives, for Cookie and Misty the time passes much too slowly, and the prime of their short lives slips away. The costs to their physical and mental condition, as well as to Ruby Ranch financially, are much too high.

We will fight in our legal system to see that legal contracts protecting animals are upheld. All rescues are watching this case with profound interest and concern for these horses and the future of rescue as a whole.

The sad part is that we, as a community of horse owners and advocates, all made a “never again” promise along with Ruby Ranch, to provide the best life possible going forward for Misty and Cookie. The fight to keep that promise will not stop.

Please encourage Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue with your supportive words and please donate to Misty and Cookie’s legal fund on the Ruby Ranch site (here).

Feeding Skinny Old Horses.

CHRNHe’s old. Some kind women from the Colorado Horse Rescue Network saw him at the Calhan auction. Do you think he should be euthanized? There was almost nothing left to him. The weight tape says 890 pounds and he is about 15.1 HH. Does he look like he can survive? We can guess at how old he is–probably 20-25. At the same time, his face was bright. This is Captain.

There is a false assumption that old horses get skinny by virtue of being old. It just isn’t true. Old horses, whether they are loved or abandoned, simply change as they age. Their muscles may be smaller; he may move around less because of arthritis, but getting thin is not any more normal for a horse than it is for a human. How is your waist doing?

A horse’s teeth are usually the problem. Sometimes they have grown so unevenly that hooks on the edges can cause ulcers that make it painful to eat. Sometimes the teeth are worn down too far to chew or if they lose one or two, the rest become unstable. They may munch on hay but spit it out. Others may chew hay, swallow it and still lose weight because if the hay isn’t well masticated, it is harder for the horse to absorb the nutrients. Meaning a horse can appear to be eating fine and beginning to starve at the same time.

But it isn’t a crime to get old. 

Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue stepped up and welcomed Captain in from the auction and the January cold for a refeeding program. In the beginning he had six feedings a day, including a 2:00 a.m. serving. He’s eating a combination of beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, bermuda grass pellets and a bit of senior feed soaked into a glorious mush. It’s a little different from buying hay, but not necessarily more expensive. And when his head went into the bucket and the smacking began, he didn’t come up for a breath until it was gone.

After a week or two, Captain was getting stronger. He transitioned to eating five times a day, smaller portions, but his tummy still wasn’t empty for longer than about four hours–except for the 6-hour layover at night. Horses are designed to graze most of the day so the mush meals had to come more frequently as well. He had some catching up to do.

Captain3mosHandsome, isn’t he? Here’s Captain after 3 months of refeeding. He is eating four times a day now and he will get his teeth floated on May 6. They’re hoping he can start to chew hay just a bit better, maybe enjoy some spring greens. Still, his teeth are expiring and he will need soaked, or at least pelleted feed, for the rest of his life.

Captain is a very friendly sort who readily follows humans around, probably in search of more food and treats. It isn’t the worst way to pass an afternoon. He’s a grateful horse with a different sort of beauty at this age. He still deserves our respect.

He would like to remind us that elders need a bit of help as years pass. They aren’t that different from us.

Captain is available for adoption but he will need a special home. One that appreciates second chances and has little extra time and love because his heart is extra big and sweet. But then the rewards for helping a Grandfather like Captain are much greater too. These are golden days–he is safe now.

What is the value of another summer in a sweet pasture? It might be time to pay some kindness forward. (You aren’t getting any younger yourself.) Consider donating your local rescue in their work for horses. Click here Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue to help Captain and others just as deserving.

Please remember Captain when you see a thin horse. It’s quite possible that his owners just don’t know. Kindly remind them that older horses need their teeth checked a bit more often. That as years go by, supplementing hay and pasture with soaked pelleted feed may be necessary. Refeeding information is available from any vet or local  horse rescue.

Most of all–keep an open heart. Captain did.

Anna Blake for Horse Advocates.

Horse Politics: Livestock or Pet.

fifi 1We live in a somewhat enlightened time. Brain science has proven what some of us have always known: that animals are intelligent, have emotions, and are capable of communicating with each other and us. That’s the good news and the bad news. It blurs the line between pet and livestock.

Definitions according to Wikipedia: “A pet (or companion animal) is an animal kept primarily for a person’s company or protection…” “Livestock are domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor.” So, dogs are pets, horses are livestock, and now things are starting to get complicated.

Some of us believe that livestock are a financial asset, that there’s no such thing as cruelty to dumb animals, and showing kindness in the barn is a sign of weakness. Drowning a litter of kittens is effortless. You do what’s necessary to make a living.

Some of us think it is cruel to even ride a horse, that no one should wear fur or leather, and that a vegan diet is the only answer. Eating an egg is tantamount to drowning a litter of kittens. There is no reason to ever enslave another species.

Humans are an adversarial species and the question of animal rights inspires a lot of defensive and extreme posturing on both sides, but most of us land somewhere in the middle ground. We eat less meat and buy organic. We vote for free range chicken eggs. A huge majority of us are against horse slaughter. There are a million other lines that we draw, but in the end, it’s political. Legally speaking, it’s a question of personal property rights vs. animal rights.

But times are changing slowly. Lots of people admit what they used to be too shy to say publicly; that they love their dogs like kids and their family includes horses and llamas and maybe some chickens. No one wants to think of themselves a fanatic, but those killer whale tanks are pretty small. Elephants at the circus aren’t as entertaining once you think about how they live.

In recent years, there’s a growing voice in the middle ground that is both personal and political. Rescues are a reasonable voice, but not always understood. Horses come to rescue for a wide range of reasons, usually not the fault of the horse or his previous owners. At first introduction to rescue, you might think that the animals should be cost-free. After all, it isn’t like anyone wanted them in the first place, and the rescue should be happy if someone wants to take them off their hands. Right?

Not so fast. To begin, there might be an auction fee or transportation costs. Add the veterinary work performed, usually a few hundred dollars–if there are no special conditions. If the animal was neglected he might need a careful re-feeding program to gain weight back and if the horse is older, maybe a beet pulp/senior feed combination with more feedings per day. Lack of hoof care might take a couple of trims to correct, with 8 weeks in between, and that’s even more feed and care. Then he might need some training to tune up his ground manners or work under saddle, so that he is more adoptable and more likely to get a good home. Once he is ready…. the wait for the right adopter begins.

Now the cost seems reasonable, less than the rescue invested in the horse probably, but paying the adoption fee isn’t the only requirement. There is an application a few pages long and a required home visit. If that’s successfully completed, then a contract, promising the horse a good home and that he will never again be treated with neglect or cruelty. By signing the contract the adopter agrees that the horse is, in effect, co-owned. That the rescue may check up at any time and reclaim the horse if the contract is not upheld.

Yikes, who wants someone looking over their shoulder forever? By now you might be thinking a horse from Craigslist would be easier. Is it okay to just call a horse a rescue if you think you are giving them a better home than the one they had before?

Rescue isn’t for everyone; it isn’t about ego and there’s no room for ulterior motives. Rescuers hold ourselves to a higher standard of care, believing that all horses deserve it. The best reason to get a rescue horse, beyond that, is because it’s a vote for a world where animals do have rights. It’s a way to say that, in between the extremes of opinion, you reasonably believe horses are more than livestock.

Adopting from a legal 501(c)(3) horse rescue is also a political choice. As time passes, laws will continue to change but that process can be hurried along by a change of consciousness at a grassroots level right now. As long as a horse is considered livestock, a rescue horse is a vote to take responsibility for the well-being of an individual horse for his natural life. It’s a safe place for a horse in transition to be protected by like-minded humans, who see the humanity of a horse–his intrinsic value, past his financial worth.

Rescue is the one place in this world that HORSES COME FIRST. A rescue horse belongs with someone who wants to make a difference in the definition of ownership, quietly start a revolution, and change the world–one horse at a time.

Anna Blake for Horse Advocates of Colorado.

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Between Patience and Procrastination: Waiting is an Action Verb.

ND mini CookieSometimes it feels like there is no comfortable place for us at Horse Advocates. It’s like cooking Thanksgiving dinner; some things are in the oven forever and some things are a last minute panic. But we don’t expect to be any more comfortable that the horses we work for.

Most cases move in slow motion. A first report gets filed and nothing happens quickly. Even in a case of clear abuse or neglect, if the horse is not in danger of eminent death, things proceed slowly. Obviously Horse Advocates is not happy with this standard, and we are trying to have a voice in redefining this process.

Then there are a few welfare checks. It isn’t hard for a neglectful owner to make enough superficial changes to satisfy the deputy and the case gets closed. Then in a month, another complaint rolls in. It’s these long-term offenders that are such a challenge. And in the process, the horses struggle quietly for way too long and tax dollars are wasted. Sometimes years pass, and for the older neglected horses, a rehab can take more time than they have left. These horses need our voice to be heard now.

Last month we saw the Brunzell/Dual Peppy court case get postponed for a few more months. When the reporter asked for a comment after, I was at a loss. I know he wants to hear something new—a good sound bite. But at a certain point, in the ongoing months between the initial discovery and the actual trial, there actually isn’t anything new. The obvious things have been said. It stops being news, which is by definition, new. Of course putting the trial back works against us. The passage of time softens most memories, even the kind of carnage involved in this case. Once the initial horror becomes familiar, it recedes in our minds. Those dead and nearly-forgotten horses continue to need our voice to be heard, now more than ever. It’s too late to save the skeletons under tarps, but it isn’t too late for justice.

At Horse Advocates, we try to be optimistic. If nothing else, mental health requires it. At the same time we remain painfully aware that El Paso county has had a bad track record when it comes to horse abuse.

Then in February, the Sheriff’s office, with the full support of the Deputy District Attorney, the same one who’s prosecuting the Brunzell case, ordered the return of two horses to a neglectful owner. The rescue they were adopted from had reclaimed them three months before, under conditions clearly stated in the adoption contract. This is a huge blow against all types of animal rescues who use a legal contract to stipulate conditions of care.

Time works against all horses. The longer they languish in neglect, the more damage is done, and the longer it takes to return them to health. There are psychological damages not even considered by the authorities. Their lives are short, and in this special case, where previously rescued horses needed rescue again, time is especially precious.

Horse Advocates is following this case with intense focus. We are deeply concerned for these at-risk horses. Beyond that, this case will set the tone for our new Sheriff’s actual commitment to horse welfare and his overall respect for animal rescue in general. We support the idea that local horse rescues, the El Paso County officials, and Horse Advocates could all be on the same side—the side of horses. For now, we watch and wait for this case to play out in our system. We are told everything takes time, but that time comes at a cost we never forget. For now, we have no choice.  We wait.

The Problem is with P words–like Patience and Procrastination. Horse Advocates is uncomfortable in either place, and so we choose Perseverance.

It’s frustrating sometimes, and boring other times. Keeping an open heart is hard in light of the suffering that horses sustain. When too much time passes, it’s hard to keep faith in a system that has failed in the past. It’s frustrating for any group who need to see a difference in a reasonable time. But if we give in to the dark side of advocacy, then aren’t we somewhat complicit in the horse’s neglect as well?

Horse Advocates won’t give up, and we hope you will continue to stand with us. The best hope we have is Perseverance; to band together committed to justice in each case, for each horse. No matter how long it takes.

Wait it out with us, will you? The horses need each of our voices.

Anna Blake for Horse Advocates.

Pick Your Abusers Well. And Colorado Horse Rescue Network’s Bright Idea.

CHRNThe Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region reports they got 4200 abuse calls last year–that’s 11 ½ a day. Some are about horses that are a bit ribby and some are horror stories of blood and fear, whole herds starved or victims of cruelty. How do we even approach this overwhelming problem with our limited resources?

To begin with, it’s a huge, complicated issue. I’m just going to chew on one corner of it here. Can we agree that not all “abusers” are created equal?

This is Captain. Members of the Colorado Horse Rescue Network got him at the Calhan auction last weekend, and Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue took on his re-feeding program. First, humor me and go watch a short video (here) of him eating mush. I want to nominate him for the Academy Award for Sound Effects. It’s the first day of the rest of his life, and long or short–he will be safe.

The Colorado Horse Rescue Network is a state-wide organization of 1500 horse people with a founding board of 13. They come from all different horse worlds with one common goal–horse rescue. They are very creative thinkers, but more on that later.

CHRN goes to horse auctions. Most of the horses are healthy and fairly sound, says Carrie Terroux-Barrett, CHRN board member and rancher. She says 90% of the horses at these auctions have behavioral problems. (I will almost stifle my rant about riders who should take a few lessons and get their horses help before it comes to this.) The Kill Buyers come to auctions, of course. Like every other occupation, there are some real monsters who prey on rescuers by doubling the price of the horse in question. This contemptible bottom-feeding behavior is a huge problem, but none were in Calhan that day and Captain caught a break.

He has a bit of charm even now, doesn’t he? It seemed he had been handled, even brushed recently. His feet were not badly neglected and he was not overly fearful.

I’m sure a few of you are ready to lynch his owner about now.

Carrie has a theory about Captain’s history. She thinks he was probably a ranch horse, trained and loved. But maybe his owner died and he passed hands. He looked good in the summer and worse in the winter, at first it was normal. Maybe his keepers lost employment or had a debilitating health crisis. Captain just got a bit thinner one day at a time and then one day he was nearly a skeleton and his owner didn’t know that old horses don’t need to be thin. Maybe they called a rescue to relinquish him, but there was no room that day and they lost courage for another call. So the owner got nervous about then. Would a vet even be able to help? Sometimes it starts to seem like euthanizing might be the only answer and owners just can’t face it. Could they get in legal trouble even after all that? Not all of us are good at asking for help, especially in complicated situations.

Is there such a thing as benign neglect? How much revenge do we need?

This is Carrie’s opinion: “Honestly it’s a double edged sword to hold them accountable. Being sold at the sale was far better than the fate that awaited him if they had left him where he was. No one knew about him, I’ve never seen him before, he would have died and no one would have noticed. They got rid of him before he died thankfully. You start nailing owners and they will just leave them to rot in a pasture instead.”

I agree with Carrie’s view of the big picture. When people ask how someone could starve a horse, I wonder how frequently mental health issues come into play. It’s no fun to have compassion for bad owners, but sometimes we should, right after we save the horses. Save your rage for someone who deserves it–like kill buyers who prey on rescuers as well as horses.

Because it is my flip-flopping superpower to see both sides, I understand the need to post hate towards owners like Captain’s. There, but for providence, go any of us. If I lost my life in a car wreck tomorrow, would my horses and dogs fall through the cracks? It’s such a gut-wrenching thought that I want to distance myself from it, push that fear as far from me as I can. And it’s only human nature to blame others we think are guilty of our deepest fear. To heal our potential wound by ripping into someone else, so we can be better-than, and maybe escape the same fate.

But no one knows the future. Rather than leaving a legacy of hate, how about paying compassion forward. It will take some discernment, but really, ask yourself who you are. Abuse is the enemy and joining in the behavior demeans our ideals.

And then CHRN had an idea. They instigated a buy-out program, paying $100 for any horse with a brand inspection, regardless of condition, age, or sex. No questions, no blame, and they pick-up. The idea was to intercept the horse before he got to auction and the kill buyer’s bidding war. I can’t imagine how much debate went on when this idea first came up in a meeting, but they agreed to risk a try. At 30 days in, they’ve taken 6 horses in, with negotiations going on another 3 or 4.

In this world of overwhelming nastiness, here is a bright light of an idea–a brilliant shortcut to a bucket of mash or re-training with a second chance. Hooray for CHRN pushing through the muck to a positive result for horses. They deserve a cheer, and a donation towards a better way to rescue. Find them at Colorado Horse Rescue Network. 

And smile when you remember the sloshing, blissful sound of Captain eating. We can turn this thing around.

–Anna Blake for Horse Advocates of Colorado.