Sherri Brunzell was in court this morning for her first motions hearing. Brunzell was trying to challenge the lawful search and seizure of the horses and llamas. The judge deemed both legal and that at this time she will not be getting any animals back. She will have to continue to pay the care bond at $5400 per month for the remaining animals in law enforcement’s care.
The Justice for Dual Peppy Facebook page posted this about the hearing today:
“Randy Parker DVM gave testimony. He stated that femur bones of the 14 deceased were tested. The average age of the dead horses was 5-10 years old. The youngest was 3. Only 3 horses were 15 or older. No firm cause of death yet to our knowledge. The judge agreed there was probable cause and the seizure stood. The bond deposit had been paid, and other vet costs were ordered to be paid. Judge Sletta ordered she pay $5,205. for vet care; float, vaccination, farrier, worming. $12.00 per horse per day or $3600 per month. The Llamas $600 for vet care, and $15 per llama per day or $1800 per month till advisement in December. Next payment due 10/23.”
This is a great step in securing a conviction and getting justice for these animals. We will keep you updated as we get more information.
I just heard that Sherri is hiring a veterinarian to come evaluate her llamas to potentially get them back. Thankfully this veterinarian one is very well versed in the camelids and two doesn’t feel Sherri should ever have them again.
Does this mean she is going to try to get the horses back? Right now she has a hearing on December 31st but the first care bond money is due 10/2 can she pay? Is she going to ask for the horses and llamas back? Does she have the money to pay the care bond? It sure seems if she is asking for an independent evaluation that she has intentions of asking for them back. Hopefully the court can see it is not in the best interest of the horses to go back to her.
Also the Justice for Dual Peppy Facebook page is reporting a dump truck and skid steer have shown up at the property. Most likely to get it cleaned up. It is looking more and more like she is going to attempt to get all the animals back. Let’s hope the courts can get it together to prevent all of that from happening.
I also wonder if the unrelated scandal going on in El Paso county is going to affect this case. I sure hope not but they are not sitting pretty right now either.
We will be following closely and update if we hear more from the vet.
The past few days a whole lot has come out about Sherri, about her horses, felony vs misdemeanor charges and it seems everything in between. What we now know is 14 skeletal remains were recovered from the property and 10 living horses (6 mares and four stallions), along with 4 llamas, were seized and taken to an undisclosed location where they are being properly cared for. They have gotten much needed farrier care and better food to put their weight back on. Barring any true medical conditions they should gain weight fairly quickly.
Now we are hearing about the other horses involved in Sherri’s abuse. There have been estimates that the value of the dead horses is over $2 million. Which is so ridiculous since selling one could have paid to feed the rest for years to come. Sherri owned Playin in Style and Playboys’s Madera both high level performance horses. Although Playboy’s Madera would have been 32 this year. Playin in Style would have been 18. I haven’t heard from any reliable source if these horses are among the dead or living but I think it would be hard for a 32 year old horse to survive what Sherri put them through.
So why did this happen? Why if she could have sold them did she keep them, hide them and then let them die? Acquaintances of hers from Texas say she threw money around like “they were printing it”. I did find she has a large holding of mineral rights in Idaho. But did the money run out? Did her pride get in the way of caring for them properly? These horses had to have had a regular vet when the money way good, who was it? Where did they go? So many unanswered questions.
We do know Sherri has at this point been charged with misdemeanor Animal Cruelty. I know a lot of people feel it should be a felony charge. I think a felony charge is going to be hard to prove because there is going to be no way to tell cause of death from bones. Which is really unfortunate because I think deliberate actions on her part caused all these horse’s deaths and she deserves the felony charge but there is no way to prove it. Hopefully she has confessed something to investigators that they can use against her and bump up the charges but I am not holding my breath.
We are also finding out that the horses were in poor condition in September of 2013. Several photos were taken and supposedly shared with the Brunzells to show their horses weren’t thriving. The Brunzells claimed they were going to change their feeding program to get the horse back on track but clearly that didn’t happen. No mention of why the horses weren’t reported to the authorities then or if these pictures have since being given to investigators.
Taken in September 2013
The AQHA has sanctioned the Brunzells and they are no longer able to participate in any events or have any other AQHA benefits. I don’t know how that will impact the transfer of ownership of these horses when the time comes but I am sure the AQHA can make exceptions.
So where do we go from here? It is wonderful to see so many people stepping up for the horses and demanding justice for them. To show as a community we will not tolerate this type of behavior. We also need to remember while this is a high profile case, right now these horses are being cared for. Every day there are horses who are neglected and abused. If this case boils your blood but you are too far or unable to help look at local organizations that need help year round taking care of horses pulled from similar situations. If you want to donate to helping the horses in rehab click here, If you want to sign a petition for the maximum penalty for Sherri Brunzell click here.
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region has finally been called out to help with the horses! Channel 11 News is reporting the horses are in the process of being removed. Thanks to all that called, petitioned and work to get these horses out of the Brunzell’s care. Now on to the criminal charges!
New news article, husband speaks out
This woman, and her husband are idiots. They are now claiming that twelve horses died last year due to colic because of the cold. Nope sorry they may have died to exposure from the cold because they had no meat on their bones or maybe they did colic because their stomach was eating itself. Either way it is a very poor excuse. These people are lazy, stingy assholes. The horses died and they couldn’t deal with them. How about the several livestock removal services, oh yeah those cost money and then maybe they would see that the remaining horses aren’t looking so good either. It is too bad that the horses have decomposed to bones so it will be very difficult to determine cause of death. The article says they met with a vet yesterday, I wonder when the last time that happened was. They are probably in desperate need of teeth floating and wormer. Because if you aren’t feeding them you aren’t giving basic care either.
If they hadn’t been caught when would they have cleaned up the property? When they all were dead? This is way too little too late and they need to be held responsible for what has happened.
Last night I reread the sheriff’s statement and it got to me that they said the horses had food and water all along. So the people who found them were lying. The video they have of empty bins was doctored? Come on. I am checking into if this family has political connections because something is fishy here. Seriously if child protective services rolled up on a case of 12 dead toddlers would they leave the remaining ones because “we don’t know how they died” NO they would pack up the survivors and get them out of there. Animals are just as innocent as children. With the DDFL Harmony center just down the road they could have easily taken the horses. That is what they are there for 100% law enforcement seizure this case would have been perfect for them.
There is a growing movement in the area to get the horses out of the “care” they are getting. I love that Dual Peppy’s previous owner is trying to get him back too. For such an amazing stallion he should be given the golden retirement he deserves not wondering when his next meal will come.
Here is the link to the change petition https://www.change.org/p/el-paso-county-sheriffs-office-take-action-against-the-vulgar-crime-committed-in-black-forest
Will update more as we get it. This woman should be banned from ever owning horses again and we need to make that happen. Colorado does have felony animal cruelty laws and she needs to be charged to the fullest extent.
Since Friday is anything goes day I have to talk about the fantastic experience I had at this Cavalia show. I did see it when it cam through my town last time and it was spectacular but this time around it is even more amazing. The stage is larger and they make use of a lot of visual effects. There are also more acrobatics to break up the all horse program which is nice for non-horsey significant others. I love that they allow the horses to be horses and they use the stage as their playground. During a large group join up one particular horse felt it was time to run around and have a good time. It took his handler a little bit of time to catch him, with the assistance of other handlers but they all handled it like it was no big deal and the horse was well rewarded once in place. The horses weren’t overbent, they weren’t overbridled, in fact a lot of them where in bitless bridles although it seemed most didn’t even need that. It was a wonderful demonstration of the bond one can have with a horse. Or four or more! In one of the mixed acts, there were horses and woman doing the hanging silks, one of the stallions looked just as enthralled with the floating fabric as we were. The rider kindly kept stroking him until he took a deep breath and the show went on. I don’t want to give away all the good parts but it really is a beautiful show with many harmonious parts between human and horse. One not to miss.
I also love how the horses are treated. Lots of play time, lots of time off and the best care imaginable. They have their own veterinarian staff and grooms a plenty although the care if often done by the performers who join them on stage. They even offer an adoption program for horses coming out of their program for any reason. In addition to adoption they maintain a retirement property for those horses who have retired from performing to live out their lives. It doesn’t get any better than that.
http://www.cavalia.net/en for more information and tickets.
I just wanted to write I am sorry for taking over and then not having any posts. I had some personal things going on but all is good and we will be back to normal this week!!!
To get things back on track I would like to start with a post everyday Monday through Friday.
I would like to do them on the following schedule:
Mondays – Funny/Ridiculous/Dangerous/Peculiar ads from craiglsist or others
Tuesdays- Rescue horses in need of adopting
Wednesdays- Rescue horses where are they now
Thursdays- Post about horse health, barn maintenance, trailer maintenance etc
Fridays- Anything Goes!!!
Updates and time sensitive material will be posted as needed. I really hope to get this back to where is was when we all enjoyed it. Lots of comments (I will let anything go unless it is personal attacks) and discussion. We don’t all have to agree, that is what makes it fun and interesting.
Again if you want to have something featured, or have any other comments, suggestions or stories please feel free to submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org
The bitch is back!!! The plan for this is to take it back to the beginning with lots of snark and great information all wrapped into one. For this we will need your help. Send us your funny craigslist ads, your news stories that need attention, rescue horse updates and anything else you think we should feature. Email us at email@example.com. I probably will create a schedule of certain posts on certain days but I also want to know what you want.