|Photo credit: Shawn Gust, CDA Press. This horse is safe thanks to Cindi Beeler.|
UPDATE 10/15/13: It appears as though five horses may still be in the hands of the Black family. They have claimed that these horses were "adopted" to "someone in the Midwest," but there are reports that these horses are instead be shipping to relatives of the Blacks, possibly located in Missouri. I ask that the public keep an eye out for these horses... and of course for neglected horses everywhere.
UPDATE 10/13/13: Thanks to the efforts of local horse rescues and citizens, horse abusers Sean and Bonny Black have been pushed into giving up horses! Five have been released to Rough Start Horse Rescue (1 stud, 3 mares, and 1 three month filly). Rough Start Rescue posted the following pictures of their horses on their Facebook page. They have already gelded the stud, and it looks like they are a real, quality rescue. You can donate to them here. Thank you again to all those who called, wrote, emailed and networked to get these horses some help!
Click on any of the pictures below to enlarge them:
This story has now made local news:
Coeur d'Alene Press: 'Horse Holocaust'
Shoshone News Press: "Horse Holocaust"
KXLY: "Horse Operation in N. Idaho Investigated for Abuse"
Krem 2 News: "Horse Operation in Cataldo Investigated for Abuse"
Sean Black has responded in the comments section of this article in the CDA Press, making every bullshit excuse in the book to explain away the suffering at his Mustang Ranch. Nothing can justify multiple horses suffering for months. I am particularly disgusted that Sean Black blames a horse being "unhandleable" for the lack of vet care it got. If you can't make a horse handleable enough for basic vet care over a period of months, you FAIL at horse rescue. I also can't understand his blame of untrustworthy farmers for selling him poor hay. If you can't tell good hay from bad, you shouldn't be "rescuing" horses. Finally, allowing dead horses to rot above ground until they are skeletons is NOT giving them "some semblance of dignity."
I have fixed Bonny Black's workplace (it's a McDonalds in Kellogg, not Rose Lake). While I do not condone harassment or threats, I DO believe that it's very important for everyone to be aware of the identity of animal abusers, so that they can avoid dealing with them in any way.
I have also added a picture of Shammy before he was starved (thank you Amber).
You can support the excellent Survivors Rescue Inc! Find out more: their Facebook page is here, their website here.
Finally, I would like to say this: Although authorities are now involved in this case, it does seem like the will not be pressing charges or seizing horses. This is unacceptable. I've seen it time and time again, and each time, it infuriates me no less: authorities don't take animal abuse seriously enough!
So please, DO keep calling and writing! Tell Kootenai County not to let the Blacks get away with abuse!
The man and woman above are Sean and Bonny Black of Mustang Ranch and Rescue, 14325 South Hwy 3, Cataldo, Idaho. This fake "rescue" has been starving horses for months. Six horses have recently been adopted from the Blacks in order to save them, but unfortunately at least one was so badly starved, she had to eventually be euthanized after extensive medical treatment. This is that horse, Shammy, befores he was starved (July 2013) and after being adopted/rescued from Mustang Ranch (October 2013).
I can't believe my eyes. I have NEVER seen a horse this thin. And yet, this horse is reported to have died at only 3 years old. Eight horses remain at Mustang Ranch, and Survivors Rescue Inc, a real horse rescue based out of Sandpoint, Idaho, is begging people to contact local authorities to try to get those horses some help. They ask you to please call Animal Control Officer Maureen at (208)446-1300.
Amber Coberly, who has been working tirelessly to try to get these horses help, was able to provide these pictures of the horrific "rescuing" going on at Mustang Ranch:
Meanwhile, Sean and Bonny Black continue to deny anything is wrong with the horses in their care. They have refused offers of help and refused those who have offered new homes for the emaciated horses. Bonny Black previously worked (volunteered) with Angel Haven Ranch and Rescue in Littlerock, CA. She currently works at a McDonalds in Kellogg, ID.
Please do not trespass on the property (the horses aren't visible from the road). DO call local authorities listed below and ask that they take action in this case. Authorities say they are currently investigating, but of course they always say that. As you know from my reports of previous cases, it can be extremely hard to make authorities actually act, even when they are absolutely able to do so. Please call or write:
PO Box 9000
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816-9000
Kootenai County Sheriff's Dept.
5500 N. Government Way
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816-9000
Kootenai Co Prosecuter
Bernard W. McHugh
P.O. Box 9000
Coeur d'Alene ID 83816-9000
208-446-1800 or 208-446-1833
Idaho State Brand Inspector 208-884-7071
Kootenai Humane Society 208-772-4019
Idaho State Police 208-846-7550
Governor Butch Otter 208-334-2100
Idaho Animal Health 208-332-8562 or 866-435-0490
Animal Control Officer Maureen at (208)446-1300