Arrests made after video shows tied-up horse being dragged by truck in Colorado

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(CBS NEWS) – Two people have been charged after a video showed a horse in Colorado being pulled from behind a pickup truck. The disturbing video was posted on Facebook Sunday, where it sparked outrage across the country.

The Grand Canyon Sheriff’s Office said that John Saldate, 59 and Amber Saldate, 33, have both been charged with one count of animal cruelty. The pair will appear in court in late January. 

Numerous people contacted the Grand County Sheriff’s Office about the video, prompting the investigation. The horse, named Trigger, was then seized by authorities and taken to a veterinary hospital for evaluation by animal welfare officers. The couple’s two other horses have not been seized.

“Our phone lines and email accounts are getting covered up with inquiries from people interested in the case,” Matt Karzen of the Grand Canyon Sheriff’s Office said.

The woman who owns Trigger along with her partner agreed to be interviewed by CBS Denver off-camera from her home in Grand County on Monday, but did not want to be identified. Sounding distraught, she said she knows the treatment was wrong: “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.”

The video shows the horse being pulled for at least 100 yards on a snowy road as the animal resists.

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

On Monday, President Trump signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT Act, into law, making animal cruelty a federal crime for the first time. 

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