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A Colorado couple have been charged with animal cruelty after dragging Trigger the horse along a snowy road behind a pick-up truck.
The couple, who did not want to be identified, were charged on Monday, November 25, with a class one misdemeanor under Colorado Law.
The harrowing clip, which shocked viewers earlier this week, shows Trigger being hauled at least 100 yards along the road, distressed and scrambling to stop.
You can see the video below (warning: contains distressing content):
By Tuesday night, November 26, the video had been viewed approximately 40,000 times, spurring horrified viewers to report it to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, which led to them being charged.
In the clip, a woman narrating the video says: ‘This asshole refuses to leave the ranch, so John’s pulling him across because he’s being a douchebag.’
Alongside the Colorado Human Society and 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office initiated an animal cruelty probe near Grand Lake following increasing reports.
Fortunately, the horse is now safe after being seized by law enforcement – however, two other horses are reportedly still being kept at the ranch.
The woman told CBS4:
I’m very sorry. I get why people are upset. I was so stupid, I don’t know why we did it. I’ve lost my job over this, I’ve upset a lot of people. I made our horse go through something that he shouldn’t have. I was wrong.
As people grow more and more furious at the video, with animal lovers campaigning against the couple, Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin has tried to allay the concerns of the public, saying their investigation ‘sometimes takes a little bit longer’.
The Sheriff said:
Cases involving kids and animals are obviously very emotional. We need to do our part of the investigation which sometimes takes a little bit longer than what the community is hoping.
Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump signed a landmark bill into law, making abhorrent acts of animal cruelty a federal crime punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Known as the Preventing Animal Cruelty And Torture (PACT) Act, it’s hoped the bill will stop people from sharing horrific footage of animal abuse, with Trump saying: ‘It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty.’
The PACT expands on the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which deemed the creation and distribution of ‘animal crushing’ videos illegal. These acts, which were not included in the 2010 bill, are part of the new legislation.
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