A couple from Colorado were charged with animal cruelty after being caught on camera abusing their horse.
Footage of the shocking incident began making the rounds on social media after being shared on Facebook over the weekend, and people were quick to denounce the pair as "sickening", "awful" and "incredibly heartless".
The video shows the horse, named Trigger, being forcefully dragged along an icy road after being tied to the back of the vehicle. The distressed animal can be seen pulling to get free, and sliding across the road.Watch a news report of the incident below:
Per CNN, the horse's owners, 33-year-old Amber Saldate and her husband, 59-year-old John Saldate, have since been charged with misdemeanour animal cruelty this week after an investigation was conducted by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
In an interview with CBS Denver, Ms. Saldate complained to the reporter about the fallout of the scandal. "You make one bad decision sometimes and it can destroy your life," she told Matt Kroschel.
''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," she continued. "I’m very sorry. I get why people are upset. I was so stupid, I don’t know why we did it."
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office took to Facebook yesterday to confirm that the couple have both been charged with one count of animal cruelty - something that is a class one misdemeanour in the state of Colorado.
They also stated that Trigger has been removed from the pair's care, and is "now safe".
"Our phone lines and email accounts are getting covered up with inquiries from people interested in the case," district attorney Matt Karzen said in a press release. "Because these events are now the subject of an active prosecution, our ethical obligations prohibit us from discussing it, but interested persons can attend the public court proceedings if they choose."