By Matt Kroschel


UPDATE: Police on Tuesday announced the arrest of John and Amber Saldate on animal cruelty charges in this case.

GRAND LAKE, Colo. (CBS4) – Video posted on Facebook showing a horse tied to the back of a pickup truck and being pulled has sparked outrage across the country. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office has seized the horse, named Trigger, which is at the center of an animal abuse investigation.

(credit: Grand County)

The horse’s owners, who did not want to be identified, talked to CBS4’s Matt Kroschel from their home in Grand County on Monday.

“You make one bad decision sometimes and it can destroy your life,” the woman told CBS4. “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.”

(credit: CBS)

The Grand County Sheriff’s office launched an investigation after numerous people contacted them about the video posted Sunday on Facebook. In the video, a horse can be seen tied by its halter to the back of a pickup truck as the truck drives away, pulling the horse for at least 100 yards down the snow-covered road.

“Cases involving kids and animals are obviously very emotional,” said Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin. “We need to do our part of the investigation which sometimes takes a little bit longer than what the community is hoping.”

(credit: CBS)

The Grand County Sheriff said deputies learned about the video and immediately responded by launching an investigation Sunday evening.

Trigger is a new addition to the family. The new owner said the horse gave his past owners problems.

(credit: CBS)

“I’m very sorry. I get why people are upset,” Trigger’s owner told CBS4. “I was so stupid, I don’t know why we did it.”

Trigger was taken from the home and will be evaluated by animal welfare officers. The couple owns two other horses. Those horses were not seized on Monday.

Matt Kroschel

Comments (48)
  1. Marcia says:

    I do not believe this couple had a lapse of poor judgement. The good news is Pres.Trump just signed federal bill making their actions a felony. Clearly, the woman is shedding tears over her job loss, which was a wise, ethical decision on behalf of her boss. People that demonstrate inhuman treatment of animals will do the same, if not worse to humans. Thankfully the judicial system has begun to see the correlation.

  2. Dawn says:

    They should take all the animals from they have. They need to spend time in jail.they are just sorry they got caught!

    1. Patricia Pittman says:

      They can any excuse up they want to about this horse, like the horse was to stubborn as they are saying, this horse should never have been tied to the back of a truck and dragged in the snow. How would those people like to be tied and done the same way, Unbelievable.

  3. Paula Rhodes says:

    The new owners are upset they got caught. They probably have done this to other animals–just didn’t get filmed. Hope justice is served.

  4. Beth Knutson says:

    President Trump Signs PACT Act Making Animal Cruelty A Felony In All 50 States – I want these people to be the 1st in Colorado to face this new law.

  5. Mel says:

    I have owned horses, been around horses, been around horse trainers, and I have NEVER seen this form of “training”. Anyone who considers this to be “training” is completely ignorant of the inherent dangers of having a spooked or stubborn animal near a moving vehicle- in the snow, no less. This could have ended so badly for the horse and the human. I don’t feel one ounce of pity for this idiot. I hope she faces animal cruelty charges. And as for this being a problem horse- I guarantee you that his disposition is due to the previous owner and whatever improper training they conducted.

  6. Rob I says:

    I grew up on a farm with animals. Animals are not humans, They are stupid and sometimes stubborn. The term “Stubborn as a mule” is not random. This horse could have walked to his destination, but refused. After a couple of these training sessions (yes, that is what it is), the horse (or other animal) will learn who is boss and do what it is asked. There is NO WAY this horse was injured. Even if it had been, it would have been because of it’s own stupid stubborness, which cannot be trained by feeding it carrots. If a domestic horse does not follow orders, it is good for nothing except food or consuming natural resources and creating methane for the rest of its life. GASP!!! Methane! (Tongue in cheek). It MUST be trained.

    Get a grip people. And enough of the dumb comments about tying people up and doing the same. The same thing happens to people who do not cooperate in prison ALL THE TIME and nobody is worried (or should be worried) about it. Just yield to authority.

    The lady said she got the horse cheap because it was a “problem horse”. Probably belonged to a spineless snowflake who had exhausted all of their options. This horse was saddled and had a bridel on and surely had the option to just walk, but refused. She didn’t just tie the horse up and pull it (the dragging was the horses choice) because it was her first choice. If a 2000 lb animal doesn’t want to move and you have other stuff to get done, you need to push or pull hard to make it move. If the horse falls over (which it did not) she would have stopped.

    1. L. Malone says:

      YOU are the stupid one! Horses do have brains AND feelings. Ignorant people like you are the reason an animals get abused. I was raised in the country and participated in the rodeo circuit. My husband, God rest his soul, would bring box sour horses home because certain people thought you could beat the bad behavior out of them and he was one of them. I couldn’t stand it and told him to leave them alone and I would handle them. I had to have them TRUST me before they would obey. It took a little time but they always came around. When they were sold, I would tell the new owner “Dont ever hit them or beat them and if you decide you dont want them, bring them back! We got a yearling that had never been loaded in a trailer, flip and fight 6 LARGE men to get him in. But we got him in. My Husband decided he was going to try MY way to break this little man. He worked with him and gained his trust and it was only one week later, he had that little gelding ready to ride. He named him Okie. My husband had him doing everything the man asked of him. The horse knew my Husband would not hurt him, hence the trust. Okie grew up and he became one hell of a Bulldogging horse and a great hazing horse. He could work either side. Okie got snake bit when he was Six and passed away and my Big strong husband broke down in tears. So what Im trying to say to you damn hardheaded people that think these animals are nothing, its you that are nothing. Do you want to be around people You dont TRUST? Do you want to work for someone you dont trust? If you aint got trust, You have NOTHING. Use your f*cking mind. I’m 64 and I know cuz I’ve been down that road.

    2. Jo Stieferman says:

      You are an idiot who knows nothing, and I mean nothing, about animals. You have no clue how to treat them and train them, that is obvious. You should keep your trap shut because you give away your stupidity

    3. Sue Vaughn says:

      Rob, People like you amaze me…..you called the horse “stupid”??!! ANY and all animal(s) have the right to choose what they want or don’t want to do. Just because we humans think we have the right to “OWN” them, doesn’t mean they don’t posses their own thoughts, feelings and desires to do or not to do something! I personally think you choosing to use the word “Stupid” is your way of getting a reaction out of people……do you crave attention (even negative attention)?

    4. Joy says:

      Please don’t compare animals to prisoners. Prisoners are being punished for the crimes they committed. These animals are not your slaves or your prisoners. Consuming resources? We consume resources and produce wastes far more than these animals. You are just a cruel person who enjoy watching animals suffer, stop looking for excuse for yourself.

  7. Nicholas M Alexander says:

    Looks like Hillary being dragged off stage,

  8. crazed1 says:

    You do realize in other countries horses are eaten as a food source. Privileged people have such a skewed view point. Less than a hundred years ago people in the US ate horses. Remember the great depression? How about a movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? Get a clue.

  9. Finally, a valid excuse for the snowflakes to become triggered. Don’t get it? Think about it for a moment – it will come to you.

  10. macdingo says:

    My God people, get a grip.

    The horse lived. Lots of people have been dragged behind vehicles.

    Yes, a crime. Not newsworthy. Absurd.

    1. fidel007 says:

      Yes its newsworthy. Now go back to watching your newsworthy program “keeping up with the kardashians”.

      1. jlf liberty says:

        All of these judgmental jerks that have never lived REAL life completely ignorant to the back story. Step off! Find out why and realize the horse was not hurt. These people have horses, how about the rest of you that abused them in order to take cute pictures on their backs when a child. Geez….

      2. jlf liberty says:

        All of these judgmental jerks that have never lived REAL life completely ignorant to the back story. Step off! Find out why and realize the horse was not hurt. These people have horses, how about the rest of you that abused them in order to take cute pictures on their backs when a child. Geez….

  11. Tacitus Romanus says:

    A couple of things to point out based on the commentary in this thread:

    1. These people should NOT have horses period. I am glad that Trigger is going to the vet and will hopefully end up in an animal sanctuary. Totally irresponsible behavior on the woman’s part. Stop whinging! You got caught! Is that would you did with your other two horses?

    2. One can be concerned about animlas AND humans. They are not mutually exclusive.

    3. President Trump did sign the long overdue animal cruelty bill. Personally, I don’t think it goes far enough, but it is a start.

    4. As for the pedophiles… PDJT has been cracking down on child, sex, and people trafficking since he took office. The MSM hasn’t reported it as it covers for the Dems and Hollyweird where pedophiles proliterate.

  12. A J says:

    Most likely a Trump supporter! Dumb as stumps, they is!

    1. Trevor Sedis says:

      AJ=Assholinic Jamoke (aka, Hilligula voter)

  13. Bunk Strutts says:

    What if the brakes had failed and the horse was trying to save his owner? Discuss amongst yourselves.

  14. Kit Taylor says:

    Needed Wyatt Earp there – “Hurts, don’t it?”

  15. Robin Ralston says:

    Back in the day, this was not an unusual way to teach a horse to lead. There are better methods, but i doubt this horse was injured in any way.

    1. Patrick Bass says:

      BUt, Robin: Was it the right thing to do?

  16. JusticeForTheAnimals says:

    Seize the horses, all of them. Seize the truck. Seize the CHAIN they used, and make sure that they don’t have animals in their care every again. PERIOD. She can cry all she wants. They actually got a CHAIN… an actual CHAIN to drag this horse with. Who does that? People that don’t care about the well being of animals, that’s who. This is PAINFULLY obvious.

  17. Jim M says:

    Once again, we are more concerned about pets than human beings.

    1. tom says:

      If had of killed a human he would get less time in jail

    2. Ed Savante says:

      Really? So until EVERY human being is living in shangra-la we should NEVER be concerned with the welfare of a horse.
      You’re a moron..literally. You’re literally a moron

  18. She knows why. She wasn’t getting her way and lost her temper. So what if she got fired from her job over her animal abuse!?!? What she did wasn’t a mistake. It took intention to tie that horse to the truck. It took intention to get in the cab and start the engine and put it into drive to drag that horse. Frankly, I’d like to see all her domestic and farm animals impounded and her face a lifetime ban from owning any animals at all.

  19. Eric C Pearson says:

    I saved a horse from becoming dog food when I purchased it. It wouldn’t go when pulled, so I tied it to the back of my car and pulled it until it learned. I had to do it twice over three days. Anyway, it worked, and it caused no harm to the horse. Ooo. . I could of done it the old cowboy way, put on some sharp spurs and kicked the hell out of it with also using a whip.

    1. Cathy Betts says:

      Seriously…..didn’t harm the horse? You are a MORON. That’s abusive and if you’re abusing a horse….what else are you abusing? Kids? Women? Dogs? Cats?

  20. Ken Black says:

    Tie the idiot owner to the back of a pickup and drag him off to jail or a glue factory, which ever is farther away.

  21. Craig Eliot says:

    The late author of the Polity of Beasts said it best: “Whenever you wonder why bad things happen to good people, maybe it’s because people aren’t so ‘good’ “

  22. denny tuma says:

    don;t see the big deal take the horse and make a big jar of glue

  23. sandra bell says:

    Take all horses off that property and prohibit the rotten abusers to ever own another horse. I would not trust them with any animals actually.

  24. Brooklyn says:

    I hope the authorities keep an eye on them. If they did it to this horse, they may do it to their other horses.

  25. Jannah Adam says:

    Waaah, I could have dragged an animal to death and I lost my job. Absolutely zero f*cks given lady, as far as I’m concerned, people like you should be punished the same way you punished the animal. Animals are sentient, they have feelings. I bet that horse was feeling terror and pain and you should too!

  26. Sally Wilkins says:

    I’d also like to know WHO THE HECK WAS DOING THE VIDEO?? Both the driver/owner AND the person videoing need to be charged!

    1. tom says:

      Guys, taking a video is not a criminal offense. In most states failure to render aid to a human is not an offence.

  27. Sally Wilkins says:

    Is that how you as a person were taught? Let me remind you, PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNED THE ANIMAL CRUELTY BILL INTO FEDERAL LAW….. THIS QUALIFIES YOUR ACT AS A FELONY!!!!!!!!!! if the little horse had troubles before, he darn sure is messed up now! both mentally and physically. you have NO WAY of telling how much harm you did to this animal with your careless stunt. I dont give a rat’s backside what the animal did that you felt qualified for this type of straight out intentional abuse! I pray that karma comes along and drags you face down through the rest of your life!

    1. Jannah Adam says:

      Typical Trump move. Sign bill protecting animals, allow pedophiles and rapists to run free.

      1. LoneStarHog says:

        Just watch what happens when all the reports start being published. The Deep State and corruption runs wide and deep. Patience!

    2. horniron2 says:

      Horse is messed up “mentally and physically”. LOL To be messed up mentally, we must presume the horse has a thinking brain like humans. LOL. Your statement reflects a belief that animals are like humans or maybe equal to. Could be defined as animal worship. Neither is the horse going to be hurt physically to any degree. As a 60 yr rancher, I know this from experience. By the way, I’ll be doing some branding soon.

    3. Jim M says:

      You sound totally well-adjusted, and not at all demented. How a person can get this mad about a soulless beast having one bad day, when there are homeless military veterans on the streets of our cities…that beats all.

      Enjoy your tantrum, little harpie. That horse will be just as dead in ten years as the millions of aborted children that need your outrage in a much worse way.

      1. Jim, how did you go from animal cruelty to abortion?

  28. Jay says:

    I say what people do to people and especially animals they should do the same thing to them. She should have all her animals taken away. She probably does it to her other animals but just hasn’t gotten caught. SHE IS A ASS——-!!!!!!!!

  29. shelly Holland says:

    What in the hell is this about. I can not believe that some one did not grab this ass hole out of the truck and drag him behind the truck and see if he handles it or not. foul calling foul.

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