A Colorado man faces multiple animal cruelty counts following the removal of 17 horses from his property for the second time in two years.
Sheriff’s Deputies in Jefferson County, Colo., seized the horses from owner John McCulley on May 20. County animal control officers and a veterinarian deemed them emaciated, in need of dental and farrier care, and suffering from rashes and infections, said Jacki Kelley, public information officer for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office.
John McCulley was subsequently charged with one court of felony aggravated animal cruelty and multiple misdemeanor animal cruelty counts, Kelley said.
The 17 horses were among 28 removed from McCulley’s ranch in June 2007. He was charged with 28 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty in connection with that seizure. Although the case is still pending, McCulley regained custody of the horses in August 2008 after a judge ruled the warrant for their seizure was flawed.
The latest removal stemmed from a tip about a downed horse in pasture on McCulley’s ranch.
“The owner put the horse down in our presence,” Kelley said. “At that point, we became concerned about the welfare of the other animals on the property.”
McCulley was unavailable for comment.
The seized horses are receiving rehabilitative care. No court date has been set.