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2 charged after video showing horse being dragged behind truck was posted on social media

John Saldate, 59, and Amber Saldate, 33 were each charged with animal cruelty.

GRAND COUNTY, Colo. — Two people have been charged with one count each of animal cruelty after a video was posted on social media showing a horse being dragged behind a pickup truck, according to the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

The Grand County Sheriff's Office (GCSO) launched an animal cruelty investigation after they were notified about the clip on Sunday.

John Saldate, 59, and Amber Saldate, 33, were charged, the DA's office announced Tuesday. Both are scheduled to appear in county court in Hot Sulphur Springs in late January.

The short clip starts out with a light brown horse standing in the snow behind a white truck with its harness tied to the back bumper. Moments later, the driver moves forward, and the horse pulls back on its harness, resulting in it being dragged through the snow behind the vehicle.

After the video was posted online, GCSO said numerous people contacted them on Nov. 24. 

(WARNING: The video below contains graphic language and content that may be disturbing to viewers.)

Sheriff Brett Schroetlin in a news conference Monday afternoon said deputies accompanied a local vet Monday morning to assess the horse. The vet said there was no obvious trauma, but did note the horse was tender and administered pain medication, Schroetlin said. 

The horse, which was being boarded at a ranch near Grand Lake, is being transferred to the Colorado Humane Society for evaluation and treatment as necessary, Schroetlin said.

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