Fallon Nevada wild horse neglect case turned over to prosecutors

Cross-posted from The Las Vegas Sun

Written and reported by the ASSOCIATED PRESS

Calico mare tends her foal in scorching temperatures in a pen full of dung in Fallon Nevada.
Calico mare tends her foal in scorching temperatures in a pen full of dung in Fallon Nevada. (c) Elyse Gardner (Photograph not filed with AP report).

A sheriff’s report on alleged mistreatment of wild horses at a government-funded Nevada facility has been turned over to a district attorney for possible prosecution.

Churchill County Sheriff Richard Ingram said an investigation was initiated May 20 after an activist filed a complaint alleging abuse and neglect of mustangs at the facility near Fallon, about 60 miles east of Reno.

About 1,900 horses were brought there earlier this year after a government roundup of the animals from the range north of Reno. U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials confirmed 83 of the animals have died there so far.

Ingram said the report was submitted late Thursday after his office interviewed BLM officials, activists and facility employees.

He said the report merely contains the facts of the case and makes no recommendations. The report cites a state law that makes “failure to provide proper sustenance” to animals illegal.

“We determined there was water and food provided and a veterinarian at the scene,” the sheriff said. “Now, the DA will make a determination as to whether or not the care being provided is sufficient under the law.”

Chief Deputy District Attorney Tom Stockard said his office has not had a chance to review the report but hopes to decide whether to pursue a case soon.

“Anytime there’s serious allegations made we want to go through it thoroughly,” Stockard said Friday. “We’re going to give it all consideration and make a determination as to the appropriate action.”

Aleta T. Wagner of Denver, whose complaint spurred the investigation, accused the BLM of providing inadequate medical care for the mustangs.

Wagner said she was especially upset over what she called the lack of care provided to a 3-day-old foal that was euthanized May 16. Three other activists later filed similar complaints. READ FULL REPORT >>

A huge thank you to hero for horses Aleta Wagner, Elyse Gardner and others.

5 thoughts on “Fallon Nevada wild horse neglect case turned over to prosecutors”

  1. Doesn’t matter to me or the horses whether they are federal or contractors. They need to be prosecuted. Leaving them in the dug will only produce illness, hoof problems and many others. This is beyond cruel. This is why they get sick and have to be put down. This is a crime.

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  2. What may be different in the case of the Calico wild horses at the Fallon facility is that these would be charges laid against federal contractors, not federal employees carrying out their duties. I agree. Why should that make a difference, but it does.

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  3. The prosecutor needs to be urged to file charges, JoAnn is right – if an individual would be guilty under the law there is no need to hold back for a government agency. If anything, our government should be held to higher stands, not lower.

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  4. If anyone else treated there horses this way charges would be filied against them. Makes me very sad to see these horses treated this way. With the hot temps out there you would think the least they could do is put up run-ins so they can get some relief from the hot sun. And why does no one rake out the crap from these pens each and everyday? BLM is only interested in $, not the wellfare of our horses.

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  5. My heart is breaking over these pictures and the sad story of these beautiful horses taken from the wild to make room for a Pipeline. Our voices are not being heard. The BLM is out of control. The horses belong to the people of the US, not the private property of the BLM. Madeline Pickens has a safe place for these horses, yet the Government (ken salazar) refuses to acknowledge her or give her a “hearing.” The public needs to make their outrage known to the Government, and as soon as possible before more of these horses are killed by these “handlers.”

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