Main story by Pat Raia as published on TheHorse.com
“Good and Bad News. Good News, the abuser will no longer be in charge of the care, or lack of care, of the former wild horses. They will be fed, with your help, assessed and adopted out. Bad News, there will be a time limit, allegedly, of December 1 where remaining horses will be auctioned off and that is when the kill buyers will circle and attempt to make a quick, bloody buck by selling the horses off to slaughter.
Yesterday, a letter allegedly from the State’s Attorney, Steve Aberle was circulated among the advocacy, it’s validity has yet to be verified but the sources have been trustworthy in the past:
The horses will not be returned to Karen without adequate guarantees that there will be adequate food, care, shelter and funds to maintain the horses. This means that many or all of the horses will probably have to be adopted or sold at auction. Dewey County and Ziebach County are not in a position to provide for long term care of the horses.
Any animals that are not adopted will be sold at auction. This means that they will probably be purchased by those that will take the horses to slaughter. We would prefer to not see this happen, so the Dewey County Sheriff is keeping a list o f people who are willing to adopt some of the horses. If you or your organization is interested in preventing some of the horses from going to auction, I would encourage you to contact the Dewey County Sheriff to let him know that you are interested in adopting horses if we reach that point.
The deadline for completing adoptions and proceeding to auction is December 1, 2016, so this does not leave a lot of time for those who want to adopt to step forward.Steve
It is imperative that the horses be fed and there are several agencies/organizations set up to do so, likewise there are sanctuaries working in the background to find homes for the horses in question. Please stay tuned, your help will be needed.” ~ R.T.
“Sussman voluntarily agreed to the impoundment, court records said…”
Authorities in two South Dakota counties have impounded hundreds of horses residing at a wild horse sanctuary operated by the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB). The impoundment is part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of maltreatment at the facility.
Earlier this month former ISPMB employee Colleen Burns accused sanctuary operator Karen Sussman of maltreating horses at the facility and alleged that 30 animals had died of malnutrition. Sussman denied the accusations.
A representative for the Dewey County, South Dakota, Sheriff’s Department said an investigation was underway.
On Oct. 11, Dewey County State’s Attorney Steven Aberle and Ziebach County State’s Attorney Cheryl Laurenz-Bigue appeared before Circuit Court Judge Jerome Eckrich to request that the mustangs, burros, and other horses at the sanctuary be placed in the care of county law enforcement authorities, court records said.
Eckrich ruled that there was “good cause for the immediate impoundment of all” equids at the facility and ordered the animals living at ISPMB be immediately placed in the custody of both counties’ law enforcement agencies.
“The animals were placed in the care of the Dewey and Ziebach counties sheriffs’ departments because ISPBM was located in the two counties,” Aberle said.
Sussman voluntarily agreed to the impoundment, court records said.
Eckrich’s order states that the animals will continue to reside on ISPMB property, but Sussman will be relieved of their care.
“The Dewey County and Ziebach County Sheriffs shall purchase sufficient (feed) for said animals and shall employ any and all persons and equipment they determine necessary for the care for said animals,” court records said.
Sussman was unavailable for comment.
Aberle said the exact number of horses in the impounded herd remains unknown, pending an assessment.
“The (animals’) condition is also being assessed,” Aberle said.
No charges have been filed in the case, he said.