Dumb Friends League continues rehabilitating horse that was dragged by a truck in Grand County

Posted at 5:35 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 20:54:50-05

GRAND COUNTY, Colo. — A horse that was dragged behind a truck near Grand Lake last November continues to recover at an equine center, but its caretakers said Thursday it will take months before the animal can find a new home.

The incident left Trigger the horse physically and mentally scared. Video obtained by Sky-Hi News when the news first broke showed the horse being tied to a truck and pulled while the animal actively resisted. In the video, one woman can be heard saying the horse was being dragged because it did not want to leave the ranch.

Two people — John Saldate, 59 and Amber Saldate, 33 — were both charged with one count of animal cruelty each, a class one misdemeanor under Colorado law.

Garret Leonard, the Director of the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, said ever since the sheriff's office informed them of Trigger, they have been working from the ground up to help the horse regain trust.

"What this horse needs is things to happen slowly. We have to rebuild trust with him, we have to rebuild his confidence and if and when we find him a home, it’s because we put a good foundation on him," Leonard said.

The Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center currently has 100 horses they’re caring for. Leonard said all of them are at different points of their rehabilitation.

"Horses that have been starved to death, you give them food and they’re grateful. Horses that have mental trauma are ones you have to go back and say, 'OK, let’s rebuild this," he said.

Trigger's recovery will still take time but Leonard is confident that one day, Trigger will find a new home without fear of being hurt.