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Public outcry in Utah is made for improved laws for horses

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With the eyes of the nation on a horrific case of horse abuse in Enoch City, on Jan. 22 KUTV reports that calls are being made in Utah to stiffen laws to protect the state’s horses. KUTV has been covering a horse cruelty case in Southern Utah that involves two horses, a one-year-old filly and her mother. The filly was discovered frozen to the ground, literally a few hours from death. Both horses were put into the safety and care of a rescue. This case was so alarming to the public that it became nationwide news. Unfortunately, help for the filly came too late and she died.

Animal control officer Chris Johnson stated that this is one of “the worst cases in my career.”

Ginger Grimes, founder of the Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses located in Iron County, Utah, assured the public that they will pursue this matter. She said, "We want the law to change."

Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary worked around the clock with volunteers to nurse the two horses. While the mother, Anna, rallied and began to show positive signs of life, the young filly called Elsa was failing. She gave up her valiant fight to live on Jan. 18.

Police charged the owner with animal cruelty, which carries a class B misdemeanor in Utah. As an outraged public heard this, the calls for tougher felony charges were being voiced.

Enoch’s Chief Jackson Ames said that the police cannot exceed the laws - In Utah, horses are not classified as companion animals.

Ames told KUTV,

No animal should have to go through this experience and suffer like it did. If people want to champion this cause and try and get the law changed, I encourage that.

On Feb. 6 Grimes and volunteers plan to go to the Utah State Capitol as part of the Utah Humane Lobby Day. Their first order of plans is to change the status of horses.

Also read Heidi Rucki story about Elsa and Anna

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