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Owner of malnourished horses charged with 8 counts of animal cruelty

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Posted at 10:03 AM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-06 12:06:01-05

HARMONY, Colo. — The owner of dozens of malnourished horses that were rescued in February has been charged with animal cruelty.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that Mark W. Walker, 65, had been charged with eight counts of animal cruelty and received his summons.

On Feb. 21, the sheriff’s office worked with the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center and SPCA to rescue 48 horses from the property near Hartsel. Nine additional horses were removed and transported last week, bringing the total to 57, including pregnant mares.

At the center, the horses were evaluated. Most of them gained a substantial amount of weight, the sheriff’s office said, and are showing great improvements. Others are progressing slowed and will continued to be monitored.

Staff at the equine center said they believe the pregnant mares will give birth to health foals.

None of the rescued 57 horses have died or been euthanized. Garret Leonard with the Dumb Friends League said it will cost about $40,000 to care for their horses and the nonprofit is taking donations through its website here.