FARMINGTON, Utah, Sept. 20, 2023 (Gephardt Daily) — Davis County officials have announced an animal cruelty citation has been issued in a horse-dragging incident that has inflamed residents.
“The individual responsible has been cited with a criminal citation for a violation of Section 6.28.010 Cruelty To Animals in Davis County code,” according to a Tuesday afternoon statement on social media from Davis County’s animal control officers, Animal Care of Davis County.
“All persons involved are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The individual responsible for this incident has been cooperating fully throughout the investigation.
“We ask the public to refrain from threats of violence to individuals involved in this sad situation.”
The suspect’s name was not released. The incident had gone viral on social media with the release of video of the tethered horse injured as it was pulled by a truck, to the point Farmington city officials released a statement Monday urging calm.
“There have been calls made for violence to city staff, elected officials and the horse owner as a possible solution to this situation,” the Farmington release said, noting city officials were made aware of the incident and the video Sept. 11.
“Needless to say, we are concerned for the safety of humans involved in this incident and we strongly request patience and empathy as this investigation plays out … The city recognizes this is a traumatic incident and understands the public concern around this matter. Animal cruelty is a serious issue, and we are concerned for the welfare of the animals within our community.”
Surveillance video shared by a Farmington resident shows two horses tethered behind a trailer and being pulled by a truck. One of the horses struggles to stay on its feet in the video and ends up dragging its back hooves against the paved roadway before the driver stops.
The Humane Society of Utah weighed in Saturday with a statement: “Eyewitness accounts from concerned neighbors detail the ordeal in which one of the horses tragically collapsed due to its inability to keep pace with the truck.” The society called for officials to “initiate legal proceedings against the driver, seeking charges for animal cruelty and traffic violations.”
Davis animal care in its Tuesday statement said its investigation began Sept.8, and wrote, “The gray horse in question has been thoroughly examined by our Department and was found to have only minor injuries from the incident, and is expected to make a full recovery.” Pictures of the horse accompany the release.
“Animal Care of Davis County takes reports of animal cruelty very seriously,” Animal Care Director Ashleigh Young said “The Animal Care Officers did a terrific job ensuring a complete and thorough investigation was conducted. We are glad the gray horse in question is not severely injured.”
Animal care’s press release also thanked the public “for the calls, emails, and messages received in reference to this case, and to ask those who believe they’ve witnessed any form of animal cruelty in Davis County to immediately call 801-444-2200.”