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Ailing Horses on County Property Becomes Political Issue in Eastern Idaho

by

GEORGE PRENTICE
  • George Prentice


When law enforcement rescues animals from maltreatment or cruelty, it's usually from private property. But Sunday's Idaho State Journal reports 15 horses and a mule were recently found to be in poor condition at the Bannock County Fairgrounds.  

The public was first  tipped to the situation by a post to Craigslist including photos "depicting the dire conditions" according to the Journal.

County officials insist their workers drive by the stalls near the fairgrounds race track each day, but Bannock County Commissioner Steve Hadley told the Journal the individuals renting the stalls were responsible for the care of the animals—not the county.

"When you rent a house, you don't go back and check on it every day," Hadley told the Journal. "It's up to the renters."

The controversy has since become political. Two of Packer's Republican challengers in the May 17 Republican primary say the facility needs to be better monitored.

"We need to be more aware of what's going on at the fairgrounds," said Evan Frasure, who, along with Dave Packer and Denis Spencer, is on the Republican ballot for county commissioner.

Meanwhile, the Bannock County prosecutor has launched an investigation to determine if criminal charges are appropriate.