The horse deaths on property belonging to International Society for the Preservation of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) in South Dakota have been “widely misrepresented,” said ISPMB President Karen Sussman,

Earlier this month, former ISPMB employee Colleen Burns accused Sussman of maltreating horses at the facility and alleged that 30 animals had died of malnutrition. Sussman denied the accusations.

Subsequently, a circuit court judge ruled there was “good cause for the immediate impoundment of all mustangs, burros, and horses” belonging to Sussman and ordered that the animals located at ISPMB be immediately placed in the care and custody of Dewey County and Ziebach County law enforcement agencies. Sussman voluntarily agreed to the impoundment, court records say.

In an Oct. 11 statement, Sussman said the circumstances surrounding the animal deaths have been misrepresented and Burns’ allegations are “filled with significant falsehoods.”

“I have dedicated my life, my fortune, and my reputation to the protection of wild horses throughout the (United States),” Sussman’s statement said. “More than once in my 30 years with the organization, I have personally financed our activities to feed, study, care for, and protect these beautiful animals. To accuse me of cruelty or disinterest … is both outrageous and preposterous.”

Sussman’s statement also said the organization h