Press Release – Horse Abuse Incident

From the Office of the Sheriff Teton County, Wyoming Sheriff Jim Whalen

Press Release



Horse Abuse Incident

On Tuesday August 8, 2017 at 1730 hours Teton County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to an address in Wilson, WY on the report of Cruelty to Animals.  The report stated a horse was tied down in an inhumane manner.  Deputies found the horse was tied down, interviewed the owner and consulted with veterinary experts and the Wyoming Brand Inspector.  It was determined that while outdated, the methods used were legally accepted.

On Wednesday August 9, 2017 the sheriff’s office received information that the horse in question had died overnight.  Deputies returned to the scene and verified the horse had died.  The owner of the horse was interviewed again and cooperated fully with the deputies.  The owner voluntarily surrendered the carcass for further examination and testing.

A veterinarian collected blood, urine and tissue samples that will be sent to the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory for testing to determine a cause of death.

The sheriff’s office is actively investigating the incident to determine if a crime has occurred.

A video of the incident has surfaced on social media and has generated a very emotional reaction.  The sheriff’s office is aware of the video and has obtained a copy as evidence.  While we agree the video elicits a strong emotional response and is difficult to watch, we must investigate the incident in an analytical, fact-based manner.  If the sheriff’s office and the Teton County Attorney’s Office determine there is evidence of a crime, criminal charges will be pursued.

The sheriff’s office has received numerous calls and emails regarding the incident.  Again, we understand the emotionally charged aspect of the incident, but request that only those with direct involvement or witness accounts contact us at this time.  Handling these calls and emails takes important resources away from actively investigating the incident.


Detective Sergeant Todd Stanyon

Teton County Sheriffs Office 180 South King Street P.O. Box 1885

Jackson, WY 83001 307.733.4052