Graham Kindred, 4, feeds a carrot to a rescued horse at Sidney Peak Ranch on Feb. 17 while barn manager Rachel Ratkovich watches. It was the first carrot that Carlito took from a person since he was rescued nearly five weeks ago.

Photo by Nicole Inglis

Graham Kindred, 4, feeds a carrot to a rescued horse at Sidney Peak Ranch on Feb. 17 while barn manager Rachel Ratkovich watches. It was the first carrot that Carlito took from a person since he was rescued nearly five weeks ago.

Carlito the neglected horse has found a Routt County home

Advertisement

— Carlito the horse has gained another 30 pounds or so in the past few weeks. He even gets to romp around a pasture at Sidney Peak Ranch without one of his blankets.

And today, after recovering for more than a month from starvation and neglect, he will be taken to his new home.

His new owner, a woman from North Routt County, who recently lost a horse of her own, was touched when she read about Carlito’s plight in a Feb. 18 article in the Steamboat Today, said Courtney Diehl, the veterinarian who has been handling Carlito’s case.

“She just loves him, and it was his sweet personality that won her over,” Diehl said.

Diehl said the new owner has been to the ranch to visit him several times, and Carlito will make the journey to his new home today.

“I think it’s a heartwarming outcome,” Diehl said. “I think the jury is still out on what will happen down the road with Carlito, but so far, so good. His level of comfort has improved considerably.”

Carlito is a Peruvian Paso, and vets estimate he is about 15 years old.

With the help of Diehl, Routt County Animal Control officers rescued him from a property near Stagecoach on Jan. 26, where neighbors had noticed he was starving and spending a lot of time laying down.

The owner agreed to surrender the horse under the condition it would not be euthanized.

Carlito was also not alone in his former pasture. His grazing partner, another Peruvian Paso named Blaze, also lives there.

Blaze’s situation is being monitored closely, and he could be removed, as well.

Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said there is no current investigation into the horses’ owner and no criminal charges have been filed.

When he was first brought to Sidney Peak, Carlito weighed 918 pounds, putting him at the lowest rating on the Henneke Body Score index that rates equine musculature.

Along the way, donations of farrier services from Scott Whinfrey, food from Yampa Valley Feed and acupuncture from Andi Kohler at the Animal Healing Center helped Carlito’s recovery. Barn manager Rachel Ratkovich and several Sidney Peak Ranch boarders also volunteered their time.

When he was able, Carlito was supposed to be transported to Mountain Valley Horse Rescue in Eagle to be adopted out, but his savior ended up coming from here in Routt County.

Though Diehl knows this isn’t the end to the chronic issue of animal abuse and neglect, she said Carlito’s story of survival can start a conversation.

“I think it’s just generally raising awareness within the community that this is in our backyards,” Diehl said. “When they see something questionable they need to get involved. They need to call animal control. Even if you don’t know what’s going on, just have them investigate. They don’t always know that they can be anonymous.”

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or e-mail ninglis@SteamboatToday.com

Comments

kathy foos 3 years, 9 months ago

All the time that Sandy Wisecup(who feeds and waters her horses well)was working with authorities,an actual starving horse was miles down the road.Poor thing.Even though no charges were filed ,like in Sandys case,Im very sorry that this horse suffered all winter and shame on the human that caused it.

0

Scott Wedel 3 years, 9 months ago

I guess we can see the difference between Wall and Wiggins. Animal Control under Wall named the owners and pursued animal cruelty charges when none of the horses needed to be removed from the owner's care. Animal Control under Wiggins protects the identity of the owner that starves a horse that has to be removed that needs specialized medical care to recover, does not pursue charges and allows the owner to retain possession of another poorly treated horse.

Quite a change.

Where is the newspaper? Since when is the identity of someone that starves a horse, a situation recognized by the neighbors, not worth identifying? Other times this paper has used county records to locate the property owner even if the relationship between the property owner and the situation is not clear.

0

guerilla 3 years, 9 months ago

Wiggins and his All Crimes Enforcement Team care about things like money. They will go out of their way to bust a drug dealer because of the money and property which can be siezed and used to buy new toys for the agency. But take a neglected and abused animal and Mr. Wiggins doesn't even get his feathers ruffled.

0

AuroraBorealis 3 years, 9 months ago

"Routt County Undersheriff Ray Birch said there is no current investigation into the horses’ owner and no criminal charges have been filed."

Why is this? I would like to know as well. Perhaps the reporter should/could clarify this.

I'm assuming it has something to do with how Colorado legally defines the term "neglect" in animal cruelty cases?

0

hereandthere 3 years, 9 months ago

The starving horse could not be taken from the owner unless it was agreed that the horse would not be euthanized? Why did the owner have any say at all? I also think that the paper is missing an important part of this story. I would hope that our community would not condone this type of treatment of animals, and have appropriate penalties in place to discourage this from happening.

0

Colette Erickson 3 years, 9 months ago

The SO is not the only culprit - the DA's office must be willing to aggressively prosecute these matters. Apparently, this case is not "high profile' or "glamorous" enough.

0

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.