A Colorado man is facing more than 50 animal cruelty charges in connection with the alleged maltreatment of horses residing on a Yuma County property.

Yuma County Sheriff Chad Day said that Department personnel began investigating the horses’ circumstances after receiving several calls from area residents. On July 27 personnel from the Sheriff’s Department, the Colorado Humane Society, and the Colorado State Veterinarian’s office removed 56 horses from the property. The removed animals were among 177 horses residing on the property, he said.

"We took the ones that were in the worst shape," Day said. "None of the removed horses scored higher than three on the Henneke Body Condition Scale."

Since the seizure, eight of the 56 seized horses have died or were euthanized as a result of their condition. The remainder are under rehabilitative care at an undisclosed location, Day said. More than 100 animals remain on the property where volunteers are caring for them, he said.

An investigation to determine who owns the horses is ongoing, Day said. In the meantime, Sammy Lammey, the animals’ caretaker, will be charged with 56 counts of Class 1 Misdemeanor Cruelty to Animals in connection with the 56 horses removed from the property.