GREAT FALLS – Karen Irene Sallee is facing several animal cruelty charges after two horses in her care died.
Court documents state that Cascade County Sheriff’s deputies performed an animal welfare check on six horses on November 9, 2018.
A deputy found one dead horse that appeared to have been dead for more than a day as it was very stiff. The marks on the ground around the horse indicated it went down, crawled, and then thrashed on the ground prior to its death, according to court documents.
The deputy then found another horse on the ground. When the deputy approached, the horse sat up, but did not try to stand. Court documents state the deputy could see the horse had thrashed on the ground. The deputy also observed a bright green liquid coming from the horse’s mouth and nose.
Four other horses were standing near a gate with three plastic water troughs that were frozen over with about eight inches of ice covering the water underneath, according to court documents.
The deputy contacted Sallee who said she had six horses at the location. When the deputy told her one horse was dead and another one needed veterinarian attention, Sallee stated the horses were fed and watered twice a day, according to court documents.
Sallee met the deputy at the pasture and told him another person was in charge of taking care of the horses. The person said he checked on the horses every couple of days, according to court documents. Sallee said four of the horses were hers while she was taking care of the other two.
The deputy arranged for a livestock inspector and veterinarian to check on the horses. The sick horse was moved to another location.
On November 10, 2018, the deputies checked on the remaining horses and broke the ice in the water troughs. The sick horse had died overnight, according to court documents.
When the deputy met with Sallee, he asked about the sick horse and if a vet had checked on it. Sallee was not aware the horse had been moved or died, according to court documents.
When asked, Sallee did not state any plans for the remaining horses. The four other horses were later removed from the pasture, according to court documents.
Sallee faces six felony counts of cruelty to animals and one misdemeanor charge for unlawful disposition of dead animals.
Sallee is scheduled to appear in Cascade County District Court Monday afternoon.