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Weld County man cited with animal cruelty after horse discovered with severe founder

Posted on 06/30/2020

A Weld County man was cited Tuesday with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty after a horse was discovered suffering from a severe case of founder.

Founder is a common and painful condition affecting the feet of horses. It occurs when there is inflammation of the laminae, or the folds of tissue connecting the pedal bone to the hoof.

“Essentially, the horse’s hooves were so overgrown it was too painful for it to walk,” said Weld County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Officer Rebeca Farris.

Weld County deputies first responded Monday to a report of animal neglect at a property located in unincorporated Weld near Briggsdale. Deputies returned to the property on Tuesday with an independent veterinarian and a veterinarian from the Colorado Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian’s Office. The veterinarians agreed it had been at least one year, possibly two, since the horse’s hooves had been trimmed.

The horse owner was cited with one count of animal neglect, a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 18 months in jail.

Veterinarians at the scene were forced to euthanize the horse, determining the founder was too severe to make rehabilitation a viable option.

Anyone with information regarding this or any other crime is asked to call the Weld County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 356-4015 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward.