Billings MT: Update on Animal Cruelty-Includes Dogs and Horses


BILLINGS, Mont. – We have an update on an ongoing animal cruelty case in Yellowstone County.

Last month, the sheriff’s office removed a number of dogs from a property on Bender Rd. after several others were found shot and killed.

A few horses were also living on that property, and four out of the five horses that were found are on the road to recovery, thanks to the community who rallied behind them.

Sarah Shipman, a board member for One Horse At A Time, had been watching the situation from a distance for quite some time. She knew that the dogs were taken to the Yellowstone Valley animal shelter, but her concern was the livestock that was left behind left behind.

She tells us she was hoping to talk the owner into surrendering them to her, but she never heard back.

When she found out that the horses were going up for auction, she jumped into action. She posted on Facebook about the animals, and that was where she received offers for donations and sponsorships.

“Zuma’s Rescue Ranch out in Colorado reached out and said that they would help sponsor and donate for the purchase if the horse had some to go. So they donated $3,000, which covered the purchase, of $2,640 was the cost of the horses, and then let me use the rest for some panels to throw up a quick quarantine area that was a last-minute thing” Shipman said.

She says in her experience, smaller animals removed from a hoarding or animal cruelty situation have a place to go.

She says she thinks because of the cost to care for and house these larger animals; it is unlikely for the livestock to be removed and transferred to the care of the county.

“People have been complaining for a long time, and then like I said, I never got word back from the ACO or for the county attorney as to why the horses weren’t being seized as to why they would be left on the property under Carrie’s care. You know they had been there since January, like you said. I personally have other complaints about different horses in town that nothing was done about them either,” Shipman said.

Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder tells me the animals were not immediately removed because the vet who assessed them at the property found they were in no immediate danger.

Linder says the vet told investigators the horses just needed food, which was on the truck at the property ready to be distributed.

He says the sheriff’s office prefers to work with the owners of the animals instead of immediately removing them.

“We have to weigh all the options when it comes to something like that, and that’s why we bring the county attorney’s office into it to see, to make sure we’re not violating somebody’s rights in some way, shape, or form,” Linder said.

You can read the rest of the story here. This article was published written by Travia Forte of


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