A viral video of the horse named Trigger shows his heartwrenching plight after being pulled for at least 100 yards on a snowy road in Colorado.
Trigger warning: This story contains graphic video and descriptions of animal abuse.
A couple from Colorado has been charged after a video of them ruthlessly dragging their horse fastened to the back of a pickup truck went viral over the weekend. The video of Trigger, the horse, being forcibly hauled down a snow-covered road sparked outrage among netizen after it was uploaded on Facebook, Sunday, reports CNN affiliate KCNC. An investigation was immediately launched by the sheriff’s office with the assistance of the Colorado Human Society, Grand County Animal Control, and 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office after the viral footage sparked public concern. In a statement, the Grand County District Attorney's Office revealed that owners John Saldate, 59, and Amber Saldate, 33, have been each charged with one count of animal cruelty.
"Our phone lines and email accounts are getting covered up with inquiries from people interested in the case. Because these events are now the subject of an active prosecution, our ethical obligations prohibit us from discussing it, but interested persons can attend the public court proceedings if they choose," said District Attorney Matt Karzen via a statement on Facebook. The heartbreaking footage shows Trigger's hooves slipping in the snow near Grand Lake, as the halter tied to a white pickup truck keeps tugging him onwards for about 100 yards. The animal, noticeably distressed, keeps thrashing its head and bracing its legs in an attempt to resist the force used to pull him ahead.
BREAKING: PRESS RELEASE FROM THE 14TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE— Matt Kroschel (@Matt_Kroschel) 26 November 2019
“ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGES FILED IN GRAND COUNTY HORSE DRAGGING CASE”
John & Amber Saldate, have both been charged with 1 count of Animal Cruelty, a class one misdemeanor: https://t.co/1fpRAQ9QX3 pic.twitter.com/Mm8cgf3TCW
Furthermore, the woman present inside the vehicle can be heard yelling at the poor horse. "Cases involving kids and animals are obviously very emotional," said Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin. "We need to do our part of the investigation which sometimes takes a little bit longer than what the community is hoping." Earlier this week, when the authorities were present at the Saldates’ house, Amber spoke to CBS Denver and apologized for her unspeakable actions. "You make one bad decision sometimes and it can destroy your life," said a seemingly emotional Amber. "I’ve lost my job over this, I’ve upset a lot of people and I made our horse go through something that he shouldn’t have, you know, I was wrong."
As for Trigger, he was immediately taken to veterinarians to be evaluated. After examining the horse, vets determined that he did not show any obvious signs of trauma, however, they administered some medication to help with his pain. Trigger, who is a new addition to the family, has been taken away from the Saldate's and is currently in safe hands. Meanwhile Amber and John Saldate have to wait for their court appearance which has been scheduled in January. "I'm very sorry. I get why people are upset," said Trigger's owner, "I was so stupid, I don't know why we did it." The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act or PACT Act was signed into law on Monday by President Trump. Now, abusive behavior including crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling and other bodily injuries toward any animal (mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians) is considered a federal crime according to the Act. This will certainly help federal agencies to prosecute animal abusers easily.