Case Snapshot
Case ID: 4132
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: horse
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Monday, Feb 28, 2005

County: Crook

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted

» John Rose - Not Charged
» Susie Rose

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

Several people say they had complained for years about their neighbor's treatment of horses in northeast Wyoming, but little was done about the situation until now.

Susie and John Rose, of Moorcroft, now are under investigation by the Wyoming Livestock Board. They have been ordered to reduce their herd of about 105 horses to 40 due to concerns of neglect.

Neighbors say they complained as far back as 2000 about the problem and stronger actions should have been taken long ago.

Patricia Fazio of the Wyoming Animal Network says she's considering legal action against the Livestock Board. Fazio says the agency should have responded sooner and that all the animals should be seized from the Roses now.

Authorities say they have monitored the situation for some time, but only until recently was it clear that action should be taken.

Several of the horses have died recently. Many of the remaining horses are anemic, covered in mange and ticks and are unfit for transport.

Case Updates

Susie Rose was sentenced to three years probation and fined $1,420 after pleading guilty to animal cruelty, failure to comply with brand laws and failure to remove or bury a dead animal. She was also was ordered last week to comply with a herd management plan that limits her herd - once thought to be about 100 horses - to 40 horses.

Veterinarian Warren Crawford, who reported on the herd's health to the board, said several horses had died and several others were in "very poor physical condition." Crawford said the horses were pastured on land that didn't provide enough forage.
Source: Scottsbluff Star Herald - Oct 25, 2005
Update posted on Oct 25, 2005 - 10:05AM 
A woman ordered to reduce her herd of horses after accusations of neglect is now facing animal abuse charges. The lawyer for Susie Rose, of Moorcroft, said the charges violate an agreement she made with the state.

The Wyoming Livestock Board ordered Rose to cut her herd of about 100 horses to 40 animals in March.

Veterinarian Warren Crawford, who reported on the herd's health to the board, said that 25 percent to 30 percent of the horses were in "very poor physical condition," and the vet found seven dead ones. Rose's pasture didn't have enough forage for the animals, his report concluded.

Rose is charged on suspicion of not giving adequate medical care to a horse that was kept in a chute after it broke a leg, according to court documents. She also is charged with not providing enough food, water and shelter for a newborn colt and three other horses.

In addition to the animal abuse accusations, Rose has been charged on suspicion of transferring three horses without a brand inspection and not burying two horses within 48 hours. She's facing a total of 10 misdemeanor charges in Crook County Circuit Court.

Rose pleaded not guilty to all the charges Tuesday.

Rick Lipka, Rose's lawyer, said his client shouldn't have been charged since she followed the board's orders to trim her herd. The plan was part of an agreement to keep Rose out of court, he said.

But Kelly Hamilton, law enforcement administrator for the livestock board, said state officials never promised not to charge her and in fact warned her she could be charged.

"We've been very up front and honest with her about the whole thing," he said.
Source: Billings Gazette - June 17, 2005
Update posted on Jun 28, 2005 - 9:54PM 
No criminal charges have been filed in connection with allegations of animal neglect in Crook County. However, county and state authorities say they're prepared to file charges in the future if they believe it's necessary.

In March, the enforcement division of the Wyoming Livestock Board had ordered Susie and John Rose of Moorcroft to liquidate her herd of 111 horses and ponies to 40 by April 1. Many of the horses were anemic, covered in mange and ticks, and were unfit for transport, according to authorities.

Kelly Hamilton, administrator of the Wyoming Livestock Board's investigations and enforcement division, said the Roses met the agency's order to reduce the herd to 40 animals. Now, the Roses are expected to care for her remaining herd under the agency's "long-term" guidelines, or face further action.

"It will be a continuing thing for a long time. We were not brought into it with the intention of a short-term fix and then walking away from it," Hamilton said. "We're going to do what it takes to make sure the animals are taken care of today and in the future."

Susie Rose said she intends to keep her 40 remaining horses and ponies on a rented field outside Moorcroft. She also noted that a picture published in the Star-Tribune on March 18 was of a 21-year-old horse, but the caption failed to mention the age of the animal.

"If it was a yearling horse looking like that, that would be one thing. But you failed to say she was 21 years old," Rose said. "They are range horses, granted."

Several animal welfare advocates have criticized the way Crook County and state authorities have handled the case. Patricia Fazio of the Wyoming Animal Network said authorities should have responded much sooner. She said the Wyoming Livestock Board should have confiscated all the animals, but instead they entrusted the Roses to find new homes for the animals themselves.

"These people should have zero animals," Fazio said. "This is one of the problems, is they put her (Susie Rose) in charge of finding homes for all those animals, and she'd never wanted to get rid of them in the first place. The whole thing just doesn't make any sense."

Hamilton said the state simply cannot afford to confiscate such a large number of animals, feed them, rehabilitate them and place them with new owners.

"(Confiscation) wouldn't solve the problem," Hamilton said.

Rather, the agency chose to allow the owners to reduce the horse herd while ensuring that the owners provide proper care for the remaining animals.

"We're holding her accountable and holding her feet to the fire, if you will -- that if you're going to own these horses, you're going to learn to take care of them and you are going to take care of them," Hamilton said.

In the meantime, Fazio has launched an effort to get a "cost of care bonding" law on the books in Wyoming. She said the measure would allow county or state authorities to immediately confiscate animals in a neglect or abuse case, then charge the cost of care to the owner. Fazio said she's working with several animal welfare advocates and the Animal Legal Defense Fund to get legislation passed in Wyoming.

"I think it would help get some of the animals out of there right away," Fazio said.
Source: Casper Star Tribune - April 6, 2005
Update posted on Apr 8, 2005 - 10:21PM 


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