by Jennifer Meckles as published on 9News.com
He’s been working through his physical and emotional recovery at the Dumb Friend’s League Harmony Equine Center in Franktown, CO.
It’s a place where one horse is learning to trust again.
“Trigger came to Harmony as part of a cruelty case,” explained Garret Leonard, the director of the Dumb Friend’s League’s Harmony Equine Center.
Trigger, a 12-year-old quarter horse, was abused in Grand County in late November and removed from the property by law enforcement.
“His owner tied him up behind a pick-up truck and drug him behind their truck,” Leonard explained.
Video of the incident was circulated on Facebook, drawing outrage. Two people were arrested, and the Grand County District Attorney announced they filed charges against them for animal cruelty.
Efforts to rehabilitate Trigger started immediately.
“First thing we did was x-rays of his neck,” Leonard explained. “To see if he had any cervical fractures, any spinal fractures, see if there was any dislocations.”
Leonard said Trigger’s x-rays came back clear, and his physical injuries were treatable. But the horse also suffered emotionally and mentally from the abuse.
“What we found was … we just have to build some trust with him,” Leonard said. “Even this halter that we put on him is something he’s cautious about, and he’s cautious about it because the last time he had something around his head like this, he was tied to the bumper of a truck.”
At the equine center in Franktown, Trigger joins other horses recovering from neglect and abuse. The animals eat and play, and begin training again with the facility’s caregivers. Eventually, the horses will be adopted by new families.
“I think the perfect family for [Trigger] is one that has experience. That is very patient,” Leonard said.
It’s not clear how long Trigger will be in recovery before he’s ready to join a new family. His caregivers said Trigger will set his own pace.
“He just needs somebody who’s going to be patient and kind to him because, honestly, he’s a really nice horse.”