Carbon County seizes 24 horses from Rescue, owners speak out - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Carbon County seizes 24 horses from Rescue, owners speak out

Posted: Updated:
BELFRY, Mont. -

"It feels like we're being targeted," Matthew Lydall of Rockin' M.T. Horse Rescue said.

Tricia Ingram and Matthew Lydall own the Rockin' M.T. Horse Rescue in Belfry. Lydall said he and Ingram rescued several abused mustangs at the start of winter.

According to an affidavit obtained from the Carbon County Sheriff's Office, 24 horses were seized from this ranch for animal cruelty for lack of veterinary care, physical injury or illness, and/or evidence of inadequate food, water or shelter.

Deputy Jon Croft of Carbon County said in the affidavit, he went to the property and witnessed 4 to 5 horses that appeared to be emaciated.

The affidavit states "several of the horses are in poor condition due to lack of food." The documents also mention Dr. Lyle Bischoff, a veterinarian treating horses at the ranch.

The documents state Bischoff "noticed there did not appear to be enough food to sustain the number of horses that were there."

Ingram and Lydall say this is not true.

"They get soaked beet pulp, sweet feed, and weight gainers all, and it's always up to here on the bucket," Ingram said. "Every horse that needs weight."

The documents state Bischoff was "under the impression Lydall and Ingram had obtained the horses in poor condition and were attempting to put weight on them.

"They need to know the back-story of these horses and how the horses were abused, neglected and starved prior to our rescuing them," Lydall said. "That's got to be taken into consideration as well as the fact that this is the hardest winter we're coming out of in over 30 years at this state."

Neighbors Michelle Briggs and Jacob Bean adopted a gelding named KC from the ranch on May 27th.

According to the affidavit, the gelding was in "terrible condition due to malnourishment." Documents say KC died May 28th, but do outline the cause of death.

The affidavit states "while at the ranch, Bischoff gelded KC."

Lydall provided us with veterinary records that show KC was gelded at Powell Veterinary Services.

We've since reached out to Briggs and Dr. Bischoff for comment. Briggs says the investigation is ongoing and, being a witness, cannot speak with us.

We've made several attempts to speak with Dr. Bischoff and will continue to do so.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

UPDATE: 

Doctor Lyle Bischoff, the veterinarian treating horses at the rescue, has sent KULR 8 a statement.

The affidavit states "Bischoff had been to the property and noticed there did not appear to be enough food to sustain the number of horses there."

In his statement to KULR 8, Bischoff said he visited the ranch in February and "wasn't looking to see how much feed was on the premises, as it looked like the horses that he worked with were healthy."

In the statement, Bischoff also said "In conclusion, I feel that after seeing the pictures of other horses from the SD rescue dated early May taken by other adopters, that Rockin M.T. has done as good of a job if not better at keeping their adopted horses alive."

However, deputy Jon Croft with the Carbon County Sheriff's Office said in the affidavit, when he went to the ranch on May 31st he observed "approximately 4 to 5 horses that appeared to be emaciated."

After obtaining the letter from doctor Bischoff, KULR 8 put another call into the Sheriff's Office to speak with a deputy. We are still waiting to hear back.

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