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Thursday, Nov 24, 2011County: Conejos
Charges: Misdemeanor, Felony Non-CTA
» Kristina Kremer
» William Barter
A multi-agency investigation into animal neglect resulted in 130 charges filed against two Conejos County residents this week.
Kristina Kremer, 34, of Sanford, and William Barter, 53, of Conejos, appeared as defendants in Conejos County court Tuesday to hear charges including criminal mischief, a class-four felony, and animal cruelty, a class-one misdemeanor.
Kremer and Barter each face 65 charges related to an investigation that began in early summer.
In June 2011, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Kelly Rippe began investigating complaints of several horses illegally grazing and destroying crops on private property. Trooper Rippe determined that Kremer owned the animals, while Barter acted as caretaker of the animals and of Kremer's property. Further investigation also identified signs of animal neglect, with many of the animals in visibly poor health according to Rippe.
During the following months, several federal, state and local agencies participated in the investigation. The Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Animal Protection, the Colorado State Patrol, and the 12th Judicial District Attorney's Office collaborated to determine the nature and extent of any criminal violations.
On November 4, officials seized 32 horses that wandered onto a neighboring ranch. The impounded horses will be moved to the Colorado Humane League in Franktown. After examination and treatment, qualifying horses will be placed for adoption or with a reputable animal rescue facility.
The investigation also led to the execution of a search warrant on Kremer's property. As a result, four horses, a bull, a cow and a calf were seized.
Additional charges are possible.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Animal Protection (BAP) played an important role in furthering the investigation. Each year, the BAP investigates more than 12,000 reports of animal cruelty and neglect in Colorado; horses are the second most investigated species, including approximately 1,300 investigations in fiscal year 2009-2010.
Citizens with concerns for animal care and welfare are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency or BAP. For more information or to file a cruelty/neglect report, visit www.colorado.gov/ag/animals and click on "Bureau of Animal Protection."
Note: Classifications and other fields should not be used to determine what specific charges the suspect is facing or was convicted of - they are for research and statistical purposes only. The case report and subsequent updates outline the specific charges. Charges referenced in the original case report may be modified throughout the course of the investigation or trial, so case updates, when available, should always be considered the most accurate reflection of charges.
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