Horse News


Source:  PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)

Map of Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests

Two Horses and a Mule Died of Dehydration in Arizona’s Apache-Sitgreaves Forest

Washington, DC — An attempt to criminally prosecute U.S. Forest Service employees for acts of cruelty to animals resulting in the death of two horses and a mule has been dropped, according to court records posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  The dismissals followed an assertion of federal sovereign immunity in order to block prosecution in state court.

More than most federal agencies, the U.S. Forest Service uses horses and mules in its daily operations. Consequently, care and maintenance of equine livestock is an important duty on many national forests.

But there was a major breakdown of those responsibilities on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona.  In May of 2016, two horses (named Snip and Diesel) and a mule (named Little Bit) were moved out of the forest’s corral to a place aptly called Rattlesnake Pasture, which had not been occupied by horses for at least a decade because it had no reliable water source.

The animals were left unattended for four weeks without water during the hottest time of the year, with temperatures in the area ranging from 105 to 112°F. In late June, someone finally checked and found all three animals dead from dehydration.

An internal Forest Service investigation produced a final “report” that was only one page long yet was a model of obfuscation. It concluded that:

“Contributing to this unfortunate outcome was a compilation of past practices, unknown policies, poor communication, failure of leadership, local fire conditions and accretion of duties to an inexperienced employee.”

In short, the Forest Service held no one to account. Greenlee County took a different view and in April 2017 filed nine misdemeanor animal cruelty counts stemming from the animals’ deaths against two Forest Service employees, including the district ranger (who has since retired) responsible for livestock care.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

11 replies »

  1. Horrible way to die. Stupid people to not check for water supply . I hope those responsible have nightmares for the rest of their lives .


  2. “…unfortunate outcome…”
    What a way to describe out and out animal cruelty!
    “Unfortunate outcome” sounds more like baking a cake that doesn’t rise or tripping over your shoe laces … but this was pure animal cruelty.
    And then to top it off, “In short, the Forest Service held no one to account”.
    Disgusting and wrong and so so sad for the innocent animals.


  3. Disgusting that the death of these animals at the hands of the Forest Service warrants so little concern. Those employees had a responsibility to those poor animals, and I can’t believe that this was was written of as merely and “oh well”. Shameful. Lets see those employees responsible for this try going for 4 weeks in 112 degrees with no water to drink, and see how they fare.


  4. This is just disgusting! If someone knew they were there, they would have been cared for. The stupidity and lack of humanity stuns me. And yet I bet they still got a paycheck! They died an agonizing death. Let’s tie them out in the desert and see what happens! Our country is in such peril its pathetic! Now the Republicans want to kill all our Wild horses and Burros in holding pens. I will guarantee you had Hillary Clinton taken her rightful place as President, we would not be experiencing the many tragedies in our country. Every single equine in the US is at serious jeopardy. The stupidity of voters still amazes me. Montana elects a Republican who attacks reporters for asking pertinent questions. Alsi because someone doesn’t like Nancy Pelosi. Christ almighty she is one vote! Equines are still being sent to slaughter and who do you think is the beneficiaries of this blood money? Its just so disgusting! Americans are being screwed with health care, seniors thru Medicaid and social security. If some of these changes take place humans will die from lack of funding even though technology has advanced so much. Our animals and especially our equines hold no value what’s so ever! I sometimes wonder if I am still living in the United States. But I keep pushing on and protest all that I can. I continue to fight for our magnificent horses. I keep asking, when will it all stop? How much more can Americans take before getting to the breaking point? To all of US our EQUINES are not just animal but our constant companions!


  5. Just as common sense, when putting animals in a pasture & leaving them – wouldnt there be some thought to making sure they had WATER?
    “forest has a Livestock Management Plan which requires equines be inspected at least once every two weeks. “
    Seriously – they only “inspect” equines once every 2 weeks – as a NORMAL practice!
    Yet another government agency who cares nothing about the welfare of the animals in their charge AND gets away with it!


  6. I just got off the phone with Ed from that forestry area. I shared my thoughts on the subject and how appaulled that something like that would even happen. I think this man felt as bad as I did. He explained that they depend heavily on the equines and do extremely value them as companions. He told me that corrective action was taken with the employee and that due to this trageic incident there have been revisions made to certain regulations and procedures. He stated that this would not happen again. He could have blew me off, but instead he took the time to.discuss this with me. I thanked him for his time and said we are all watching and fighting for our equine friends.


  7. Thanks for posting Ed’s phone number. He said this would not happen on his watch. He has a lot of checking up to do if he can’t trust his workers – with that he agreed. He was not allowed to talk about the actions taken with the employees who left the equines in the corral, but he continued assuring me this would not happen again. Hard to believe it happened at all – so sad and cruel.


  8. This is horrible and disgusting. These Horses and this Mule should NOT have been brought to this location in the first place! What kind of idiots would do this, where it is so hot and there is no water?!! This was disgraceful and unnecessary. This angers me so much – it is inexcusable and unacceptable. These people should have to answer to this cruelty and injustice to these poor animals.


  9. I realy hope, these people should be punnished severely . I a m sorry to say, “any person , who is involved with such a Cruelty., to let these animals ! any Animal die of Thirst, should die of Thirst THEMSELF!


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