Two men charged in horse neglect case

 PRESS RELEASE

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 11, 2014

Yuma County Sheriff Chad Day has released that his office has filed criminal charges against two men from the Yuma and Otis areas as a result of an investigation into reported animal cruelty/neglect involving eleven horses.  On February 12, 2014 the Sheriff’s Office received a call from an investigator with the Colorado Humane Society who had been contacted by a citizen concerned about the living conditions of some horses on a rural property northwest of Yuma.  Sheriff’s Office personnel responded to the scene and discovered the remains of five deceased horses along with six live horses that were severely malnourished.

Sheriff’s Deputies obtained a search warrant for the property, recovering the remains of the deceased horses. The owners of the horses were identified as Scott Foster and Rex Gunther.  Both of the owners responded to the scene and were cooperative with the Sheriff’s Office in their investigation.  Both Foster and Gunther expressed remorse for the condition of the horses and ultimately made the decision to voluntarily surrender the remaining horses to the Sheriff’s Office, who had them transported to the Harmony Equine Center via the Colorado Humane Society.

The remains of the deceased horses were evaluated at the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.   The lab results concluded that the animals had a severely low percentage of body fat and large populations of parasites that contributed to the degraded physical condition of the horses and subsequently, their deaths.

 

The Sheriff’s Office also received a veterinary report from the Harmony Equine Center indicating that the surrendered horses also suffered from severe malnutrition.  Three of the six horses that had been surrendered have since been euthanized due to their inability to be returned to full health.

The Sheriff’s Office has since charged Foster and Gunther each with eleven counts of Animal Cruelty/Neglect, a class 1 misdemeanor.

By statute, the County Sheriff’s Office is responsible for investigating any criminal cases that involve animals or livestock in unincorporated areas of the county where there is no municipal law enforcement.  Sheriff Day commented, “The Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to investigating all manner of criminal cases that occur within the county with the same level of due diligence and care, and asks that citizens not hesitate to make such reports directly to the office by calling 332-4805.  I appreciate the Colorado Humane Society’s assistance in this case, and I’m thankful for them as a resource to Yuma County.”

Cell Tower Copper Theft

For Immediate Release

Cell Tower Copper Theft

Viaero Wireless was victimized for the third time in just a few months in the early morning hours of Monday, March 3rd.  The Yuma County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Yuma County roads U and 31 after Viaero’s automated security system was triggered.  When Sheriff’s Deputies arrived just after 2 A.M., they found that a large quantity of wire had been removed through a junction box connected to the tower.  It appears that the unknown suspects in this case used a vehicle to pull the wire off of the tower site.  Evidence was collected from the scene as well as from the county road a few miles away.

On December 3rd, this same site was stripped, and on February 20th, a tower was stripped in the same way at Yuma County roads D and 54.  These kinds of tower sites have been targets for metal thieves for the last couple of years in Morgan and Washington counties, but these are the first reported incidents like this in Yuma County.

Yuma County Sheriff Chad Day asks that county residents be diligent and aware of suspicious vehicles, especially near these tower sites, and to report any suspicious activity to 332-4805.  Viaero is considering using a different, less valuable material as replacement wire at these sites.  They have been a major target across the region for these thieves.

Keep an eye out for this case in the upcoming crimestoppers listing.

End of Release