Neglected horses will not be returned to abusive owner

By Nicole Rivard

Lisa Lind-Larsen, the Redding, Conn., woman facing criminal charges for neglecting her two horses Chinook and Cheyenne and who is scheduled to appear in court once again Dec. 2, has lost ownership of the animals…and Friends of Animals couldn’t be more thrilled. 

Last week Hartford Superior Court found that the horses were indeed neglected and/or cruelly treated during a civil case separate from the criminal case, and vested ownership of Chinook and Cheyenne to the Connecticut State Department of Agriculture (DEA). 

Lind-Larsen, who acquired the wild mustangs in 2004 from the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program, has been fighting the civil suit filed in State Superior Court by the DEA back in July when the horses were seized from her property. At that time the horses were found fly-bitten and badly emaciated, and their stalls piled with manure eight inches deep. 

The DEA has been caring for the horses since their seizure from Lind-Larsen at a state facility in Niantic.

Friends of Animals (FoA) will be in court once again on Dec. 2 and throughout the rest of Lind-Larsen’s trial, as this issue hits close to home. Over the summer, the organization filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list North American wild horses on public lands as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the best hope to end roundups and the use of the birth control PZP, and to guarantee the survival of wild horses. The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WHBA), which was passed in 1971, has failed to protect our wild horses. 

The organization also held two protests in Wyoming this summer. When FoA learned back in July that the BLM’s scheduled wild horse roundup would eliminate almost all wild horses (800 to be exact) on the 1.2 million acre Checkerboard land (alternating one mile square sections of private and public land for 20 miles on either side of Interstate 80) within three Herd Management Areas (HMA) in Wyoming, the organization sprang into action. It joined four other wild horse advocacy groups and organized a protest and press conference outside the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board meeting on Aug. 24 in Riverton, Wy. Then, FoA returned in September and held a rally at the Rock Springs holding facility in Wyoming.

The Connecticut horse neglect case shows just how far reaching the abuse of such roundups is. 

Since the civil action hearing began, FoA has learned that Chinook is 14 years old and was ripped from her family and rounded up on Jan. 8, 2002 in Antelope Valley, Nevada. Cheyenne is 13 years old and was rounded up and taken from her family on Aug. 11, 2003, in Sulphur, Utah.

Stay tuned!