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☛ Opinion piece on Dual Peppy Saga 11-1-14

THE “JUSTICE FOR DUAL PEPPY” SAGA CONTINUES

 

A Personal Opinion Piece

 

By Rick Dennis
Oct. 31, 2014

Dual Peppy in his early years when he was standing at stud.

By now, I’m quite sure just about everybody who reads this news magazine or frequents the social media network Facebook.com is familiar with the continuous news broadcasts concerning Dual Peppy and the horse abuse case in Black Forrest, Colo. This particular incident is not just another case of alleged animal abuse but a highly publicized allegation of animal abuse reaching national and international proportions of support, with the audience demanding “Justice For Dual Peppy” as well as the other horses in the mix owned by Colorado Springs, Colo., residents Rick and Sherri Brunzell.

 

To summarize, this case is quite simple. Rick and Sherri Brunzell own the horses involved in this case and rent the barn where the horses were being kept. Sherri Brunzell was charged with animal cruelty by the El Paso County Sheriffs Office pursuant to a complaint of animal abuse being reported by a neighbor and a search warrant execution resulting in the discovery of fourteen dead and decomposed horses, including full skeletal remains, ten live but emaciated and starving horses and four lamas. All animals, dead and alive, were found residing in the same barn amid a mountain of dried manure.

 

Pursuant to the discovery and seizure of the living animals, portions of the skeletal remains, (i.e.) bones of the deceased horses, were collected by veterinarian Dr. Randy Parker, and forwarded to Colorado State University for clinical analysis to determine the age of the deceased and the cause of death with an emphasis being placed on the fat content of the bone marrow to determine whether or not malnutrition was a mitigating factor at the time of death.

 

Since I am a criminal investigator, experience has taught me that an individual can’t serve two masters. It has been reported that Dr. Parker, the veterinarian attending to the onsite forensic portion of the criminal investigation, worked not only for the Brunzells at one time but also for the Sheriff’s Office Mounted Division. My first thought to this association is that a defense attorney may identify or infer this relationship as a “Conflict of Interest,” especially in a criminal trial. In my opinion, it would have been better for Dr. Parker to recuse himself to exclude any and/or all hints of impropriety – whether any exists or not.  In law enforcement, criminal investigators refer to this as, “Does It Pass The Stink Test?

 

Since the discovery, the news media, as well as social media, has inundated the public with continuous news reports concerning these horses and lamas as well as the road to recovery for the live ones. Equally, there has been a lot of speculation concerning individual actions in this matter as well as what I challenge, in some instances, as legitimate claims of authenticity.  Actually, I have enjoyed the news releases and the heightened awareness these dedicated journalists have brought to the forefront of animal abuse.  Each and every one should be commended for their hard work and dedication to the cause!

 

For certain, one lingering rumor and fact that should be cleared up is, “Who contacted The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) concerning this matter. Well that ladies and gentleman is non-other than myself! I learned of the dire situation concerning these horses on Saturday and contacted the AQHA and the NCHA on Monday, requesting an immediate response and investigation into this matter. Mr. Ward Stutz, the AQHA Senior Director of Integrity and Education, and Mr. Jim Bret Campbell, Executive Director of the NCHA both deserve a standing ovation and round of applause for their immediate response.

 

The AQHA denied any and all privileges including registration-related transactions and participation in AQHA events. They also denied Brunzell access or presence on show grounds of AQHA-approved shows.

 

History:

Am I familiar with Dual Peppy?  You bet!  I met Dual Peppy along with the other two Dual Pep brothers, Mister Dual Pep and Dually Pep, while learning the art of training and showing the reined cow horse at the legendary Ward Ranch, Tulare, Calif.  Do I know the Brunzells?  You bet.  I’m not only familiar with the sale of Dual Peppy to the Brunzells, but the horse’s breeding and showing career. To describe Dual Peppy in the cutting pen is akin to watching a bolt of lightning gliding across the arena on coiled muscles ready to catapult horse and rider to the next position but with the effortless grace of a ballerina. Above all, he’s an NCHA World Champion and a world class sire!

 

Dual Peppy is a kind and gentle horse with an eye as big as a golf ball and a heart as big as they come. Just like the other Dual Pep brothers, he was bred, raised, trained and shown by the legendary Hall of Fame reined cow horse “Master” and breeder Greg Ward. In fact, I had the prestigious honor of owning and showing Dual Train, the first foal out Dual Peppy. She is one of the last two horses trained by Greg Ward (the other is Reminics Pep). Both horses’ impressive show records are in the record books. I also had another horse in my training barn sired by this great stallion that I trained. Her name is Peppysvegashowgirl.

 

True to form, this horse also became a superstar, earning a fifth place in the National Standings of the AQHA in limited rider cow horse as a 4-year-old with Lucy Tetlow, her 65-year-old, first-time competitor aboard. This mare went on to be a money earner at the Stock Shows in reining, cutting and cow horse as well as a buckle earner with the National Stock Horse Association in California. All in all, Dual Peppy is a great horse and not deserving of the horrific blow he’s been dealt, as well as the other horses and the lamas entwined in this horrid event, or any abused animal for that matter.

 

Oct. 29 Hearing:

Today I was contacted by an individual in the area and was advised that a court hearing was conducted on the subject matter on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 that this individual attended whereby the following two relevant facts were brought out at the hearing:

 

No. (1) – Brunzell’s attorney filed a motion for a “Change of Venue”.

 

In simple terms this means an individual awaiting trial feels he or she cannot receive a fair trial due to the publicity of the case. I was told this motion was denied by the judge, and

 

No. (2) – Brunzell’s attorney requested a “Gag Order” to prevent the dissemination of information concerning the case, that was split down the middle by the Judge. He granted a “Gag Order,” or a non-release of information by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office but declined to institute a gag order on the news media.

 

As a former Drug Enforcement Special Agent with 16 years of criminal background experience as well as assisting in the successful prosecution of enumerable individuals, I didn’t find the first legal maneuver a big surprise.  However, I do find the second legal maneuver – the “Gag Order” – incredulous from one position in particular: “On one hand the defendant, by choice or other undisclosed circumstance, seemingly ignores one law – animal cruelty – by allowing animals in her ownership, custody, care and control to die or become emaciated and in the conditions they were found, but on the other hand, the defendant appeals to the law for self preservation.”

 

Ironies and Strange Twists:

Another irony in this case that hasn’t been revealed is why Rick Brunzell announces to the news media and the world that the horses in question belong to his wife and not him, yet his name is on the AQHA records of Dual Peppy Partners as a co-owner. To date, and to my knowledge, no criminal charge has been filed against him, even though he stated in the same news release that he helps his wife take care of the horses and resides with her on a daily basis.

 

The other strange twist to this case is that news reports have offered a variety of reasons for the condition the animals were found in. One of the reasons was the lack of availability of funds. However, on the other hand this individual can post a bond, hire a lawyer (unless appointed by the court) and pay the $5,400 per month for the care of the animals at the rehabilitation center while this matter is being adjudicated, which is required to win the animals back.

 

It seems to me the availability of funds may be looked at as a matter of convenience at this time in this case!  Wouldn’t it have been simpler just to use the funds for the care of these unfortunate animals in the first place?  My question is, “If a lack of funds were the case, why didn’t the Brunzells reach out to the 501 (c) 3 nonprofit in the area for feed assistance since this organization openly admits donating approximately 300 tons of hay to residents of Colorado to aid in the feeding of horses due to reasons of this type?”  Or better yet, instead of allowing horses to become emaciated, why didn’t the Brunzells find another viable solution of resolve, such as selling or donating the horses they supposedly couldn’t afford to feed or take care of!

 

Another excuse offered up dealt with both Brunzells being in poor health during this time period. Certainly medical records can substantiate or disprove this claim along with an affidavit from a physician. One of the best ones that I find the hardest to swallow is the one stating all of the horses died of colic. Since Brunzell has previously stated they self medicate, medical records to confirm or disprove this assertion should be nonexistent.

 

However, being a Professional Horseman as well as a criminal investigator, my experience tells me there are other ways to approach the subject, (i.e.) where are the receipts for the medical supplies used to treat the colic, such as Banamine, Rompun, mineral oil as well as the hose, bucket and pump to administer the oil directly into the gut to relieve the colic or impaction.  Further, where are the receipts for the syringes and medication to provide inoculations to prevent disease? Where are the receipts and equipment to draw and analyze blood for a Coggin’s test? These are all realistic examples of necessities for proper horse care and should be included on their IRS tax filings.

 

Another pertinent fact to be explored in this case pertains to the deplorable condition the horses’ hooves were found in. Certainly, if the Brunzells self medicate then perhaps they do their own farrier work as well, so my next question is, “Where are the receipts for the purchase of farrier equipment or the actual implements which are required to perform the necessary farrier work such as: stands, hoof knives, files and nippers?”  As horse owners, we all know a healthy hoof goes along with a healthy horse and as the old adage says, “No Hoof, No Horse.” Certainly a proper trimming is considered a vital aspect of proper horse care and ownership with the Brunzells! Again, these receipts should be included on their tax filings!

 

As a criminal investigator, my most important question as well as the required documentation to substantiate the next question is: “Where are the medical certifications or classes attended to provide the Brunzells with the medical knowledge and expertise to properly care for horses without using a qualified medical person or a qualified farrier. After all, most of us in the horse industry aren’t smart enough or qualified enough to perform these functions without the aid or assistance of a veterinarian or a farrier. That’s why responsible horse owners call them and use them, myself included.  For the record, these two individuals are not green horns to the industry but, by self admission, competent horseman ready to state their vast qualifications and professional knowledge to anyone who will listen and ask. Certainly, these two individuals with such knowledge would know how to properly care for a horse!

 

Final Analysis and Personal Opinions:

My final analysis and personal opinions of this case deals with the manner in which the El Paso Sheriff’s Office has dealt with this ordeal. On Monday morning following the discovery on the previous Friday, the Sheriff’s Office spokesman released a news response stating their mounted division decided the horses were not in immediate danger of dying, even though the photo plastered all over the internet revealed an emaciated Dual Peppy with his ribs and hip bones protruding through his skin which I would have scored about a 1.5 at best, so they were left in the care, custody and control of the Brunzells.

 

That same day, during the afternoon another news release came out informing the public that a search warrant had been executed, a veterinarian had been summoned and as a result of his findings the animals were being seized and transported to a rehabilitation center. If the proper definition of this type of behavior was sought in the dictionary would, “A Chinese Fire Drill,” be the appropriate choice?

 

My final question in this personal opinion piece is: “What transpired from morning to afternoon to create such a turn of events? Did public pressure sway their opinion or was it pressure from the right source?” Perhaps one day that question will be answered.

 

My final opinion in this matter is: “A mounted division law enforcement officer doesn’t have the qualifications to make such an astute decision unless that officer is a licensed and qualified medical practitioner aka veterinarian.” This irrational decision caused a three-day delay for those animals living in this “Hell Hole.” The proper decision would have been to summon a veterinarian on the same day of discovery!  However, the actions of the Sheriff’s Office might be rationalized since the Sheriff is reportedly being investigated by the FBI for allegations of impropriety and is MIA in Alaska!

 

I am told that it was announced at the Oct. 29 hearing that there would be an additional hearing on Dec. 17, 2014, to “adjust court sentencing.”

 

Dual Peppy when he was found among starving and dead horses.

In all of my years as a law enforcement officer and a drug enforcement special agent, I have seen a lot of cases that defy logic and I’ll just chalk this up as another one of them. For the life of me, I just can’t rationalize or justify this case or the manner in which the horses and lamas were found. However, it seems the right District Attorney is overseeing this one and hopefully “Justice For Dual Peppy” will be the final outcome in this matter, one way or another!

 

“Until Next Time, Keep ‘Em Between The Bridles!”

Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

Managing Member

Office/Mobile: (985) 630-3500

Email: windrivercompanyllc@gmail.com

Web Site: http://www.windrivercompanyllc.com

Wind River Security, Consultation, & Risk Analysis

Wind River Drug, Alcohol, & DNA Testing

Wind River Ranch – Reined Cow Horse Breeding, Training, Exhibition, & Sales

 

 

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71 Comments

  1. Great article! Thanks so much for shedding more light on this horror.

    As per usual, I feel it necessary to add my 2 cents.

    In my limited experience with animal abuse, I have found that ASPCA, first, and animal control, second, are much more efficient and effective in identifying and resolving animal abuse situations than law enforcement officials.  ASPCA knows the law and can get in there, assess the situation, file the necessary papers and get those animals out almost immediately.  The animals will immediately get the veterinary care they require and the ‘rights’ of the negligent remain in tact until the legal process gets underway.  Certainly law enforcement must be notified, but in conjunction with, rather than prior to, notifying ASPCA.  This may be why there was a 3 day ‘lag time’ in getting the horses out of there.

    I also have a question, no where that I can find, has the question of insurance been asked.  It is reasonable to assume that at least some of the horses in question might have been insured.  Has anyone looked in that direction?

    I sincerely hope that Mr. Dennis’ assessment of the situation be made available to whomever is in charge of this mess in hopes of burying the ‘perps’.

    Gina

    • Hey, and thanks for your comments – much appreciated!  This case has been so bizarre and nothing I’m accustomed to as a former professional law enforcement officer.  In my opinion this case was mishandled by law enforcement from the onset!  I agree with all that you have stated, except the involvement of the ASPCA. 
      The proper manner would have been to immediately summon a veterinarian.  After the vet exam a statement of fact – affidavit, should have been provided by him or her to support the search warrant application, execution and applied criminal charge(s) thereafter resulting from the findings of the forensic team.
      Remember, law enforcement are the only ones that can file charges and prosecute in a court of law.  All evidence in this case has to be documented in accordance with the rule of law thereby establishing an irrefutable prosecution. 
      The A SPCA has their place in society but in my opinion, not this one.
      Again, thank you for your gracious comments and concerns. Stay in touch!
      Rick Dennis

      • When I went into the barn after uncovering the bodies…I walked up to Dual Peppy …he stood emaciated but strong..I wrapped my arms around his neck ,looked him in the eye and hugged him….it still brings tears to my eyes..this is something that I hold close to my heart and I felt like I’ve known him …I promised him and the others to fight for Justice.

    • Hello Mr. DENNIS, I’m the one who found The Black Forest Horses/Dual Peppy. I want to give YOU a Big Thank You for Everything that You have done. There’s so much more to this than people know… We Need all the help that we can get to get the laws enforced & to add New Laws Regarding Horses. The defense is playing on the technicalities of the Sheriff’s Dept. Decision from that Fri. Night.

      • First, allow me to congratulate you on your noble effort in this matter;

        Second, let me state what your seeing now is what I refer to as legal wrangling. The prosecutor has a duty to the people of thr state of colorado. The defense attorney hs a duty to his clients.

        At the end of the day there are 10 malnourished but live horses, 14 dead and decomposed horses and the llamas.

        The matter will be decided in the court.

        I believe it would better serve your state and your community to form a coalition and pushing for tighter regulations, better enforcement and stiffer criminal penalties for violators while using this case as a model rule. Thanks – Rick

  2. Great report. Thank you Glory Ann.
    William C.

  3. Awesome article. Thanks for the Update.
    Brenda R.

  4. I loved your article! He sounds like one amazing horse- it can happen to anyone I suppose. Bringing justice to him will also free the other mistreated animals. People like you help by bringing attention to the injustice. i feel moved to call and complain and pray for all of these animals.

  5. Dear Rick,
    Thank you for your fine article regarding Dual Peppy! You have covered all the points we would like to have addressed. I too was lucky to have a horse with some Peppy lines.i had him 27 years and he lived to 31 . At 31 he did not look like any of the remaining Brunzell horses. Even all the “colic deaths” should be ruled negligence. I have been very vocal on the Justice site that they should not be allowed to have the remaining horses back. They had the knowledge to buy top horses and knowingly abused them. They are just giving money now to make themselves look good in the community. I feel the husband should be charged and that the sheriff should be charged with something also! It is not the horses fault that his investigation by the FBI precluded his office from making a good decision when the horses were initially discovered. Thank you for being instrumental in getting them banned from events! Jerri Nance

  6. I own two wonderful equine, an American Quarter Horse and American Paint who greet me each time they see me with a low throaty nicker. I am fortunate to be their caregiver. I have been following the Dual Peppy/horses/llama tragedy since the news broke in September. I have also been like so many enraged at the unspeakable treatment these horses/llamas have endured at the hands of the Brunzells.
    We all need to thank the neighbor and her dog for uncovering this cruelty, but also Dual Peppy. For without his prestigious name, lineage and accomplishments this story may have remained just another sad horse cruelty case. It may never had gotten as far as it did due to the outrage we all felt at the Brunzells for doing this to such an important equine of the industry. Dual Peppy’s name brought us all front, center and demanded something be done especially when the Sheriff’s office seemed to be back tracking with as many excuses and the Brunzells.
    I want to thank you for expressing the same feelings and questions I have since the beginning. It’s wonderful people of your expertise speaking out against this and all “animal cruelty” cases which help to facilitate awareness and action.
    I became physically sick to my stomach when I saw the horrific conditions these equine were subjected. I feel people who do these cruel acts should be subjected to the same treatment they inflicted upon the animals whose care they were entrusted. Just my opinion.
    Thank you for getting involved and posting a very informative article. I will continue to keep abreast of continuing legal actions and the welfare of these animals.

  7. Thank you so much for this article. I’ve read everything available on this case and pray that justice is served. As a horse owner I can’t imagine treating them in such an inhumane manner. Our horses are family and are treated as such. Another poster mentioned insurance and I wondered the same thing. I can’t imagine all those horses having colic in one year. I’ve had one horse have colic in fifteen years! Also, when will the results of the bone marrow be revealed? Again, thank you for your opinion on this situation.

  8. Dear Mr Dennis, I so appreciate your article and frank, knowledgeable opinions of the Black Forest case. You were right on all counts, only lacking as a knowledgeable horseman on the opinion of these people forcing the live animals to live locked up in a barn with dead and dying for so long. The horses I have had experience with would not, could not tolerate such conditions, their daily horror can only be imagined. It seems to be a subject that is being avoided entirely. I do hope the prosecuting attorney does not avoid this important aspect of the cruelty factor.
    Diana Hofman

  9. Read the article you wrote for allaboutcutting and it was awesome. Want to thank you so much especially because it clarified so much for so many who might not have “understood”. You laid it out so well. I did email the DA and hope they read it as think your information might be helpful since you are also a horseman and they probably aren’t. Thanks for the article and thanks for helping on these horrible issues!!!
    Jan Rutledge

  10. Finally someone addressing all the realities of this case. Thank God for Rick Dennis!

    Marti Haygood

  11. Send this to the judge and prosecutor.

    Sally Pool

  12. fFnally an educated man willing to speak the facts and the reality of this case instead of political corruption! Kudos Rick Dennis!
    Jay Bec Gordon

  13. This article pretty much sums up the same questions most of us are asking, only does it with legal jargon and legal logic. Great article. I believe this case will change the way humane cases are handled, especially with regard to livestock.

    April Hanson Alianza

  14. Omg so well spoken that was awesome and to the point, I pray each and every day that justice will be done !!!!!

    Jeana Malone

  15. I take my hat off to Rick Dennis!!! I wish he was led on this case b/c he knows his business.Everyone should read what he wrote.

    Larry Carter

  16. If the court gives these poor animals back to them, there is something seriously wrong with our system, and we need desperately to fix it. They had the money to pay for this wonderful stallion, which was a lot, and then they just let all those horses stand in their stalls and die. Didn’t even let them out where they could at least fend for themselves! Jail time, both of them, and they should never be allowed to own another horse.
    Beth Smylie Herren

  17. Thank you Rick Dennis. What a great read! Your information it’s the really appreciated! This should be forwarded to the Judge and Prosecutors
    Jodie Robards

  18. Excellent article. One of the best I’ve read so far.

    Dottie Fayette

  19. I live here in Colorado Springs. I’m still mortified that this can happen and happen in my neck of the woods. All the thoughts that Rick pointed out is nothing that us horse owners have not thought about. Along with posting your thoughts and venting frustrations, please also past it along to the prosecutor. My first thought was, “How could this happen? They are just miles from the horse food bank?” It was agonizing for all of us to see that the removal of these poor animals was not done immediately. Is anyone pleased with how the sheriff’s office handled this? No! But I do have to say I am tired of hearing all the digs on Dr. Parker. Having trained and showed horses for well over 20 years I have told many farriers and other horse related ‘Quacks’ to hit the road and never come around my horses again. But all these years I have always trusted Dr. Parker. He is a very good vet. I wish Rick would have watched the town hall meeting held in Black Forest that discussed how these situations can be dealt with more effectively in the future. He may have said some things differently. Maybe not? News channel 5 taped it and posted it on youtube and the link was posted on the Justice for Dual Peppy FB page. Dr. Parker stated that he does not have a contract with the sheriff’s office or any organization. He was just called out to do a job and just happened to be at a place that years ago he had been. Brunzell’s were not current clients as they stated they had been doing their own vet care. Dr. Parker also gave the horses and conditions a worse score than the sheriff’s office. So I feel he was a big factor in getting those horses off the property. At this meeting it was also stated that the sheriff’s office was also dealing with a missing a child case that came in while at the Brunzell’s. I don’t know if that had anything to do with the slow process of removing the horses but understandable that their was added stress in the situation of the day. Again, I am not agreeing with the sheriff’s office handling of this.
    Emily Knight

  20. They should lock them up and throw away the key. Bad enough that those animals were suffering and dying, but to come up with “stories” about the circumstances, shortage of funds etc is simply should reach a long waydiabolical and should be dealt with swiftly and severely if there is ever going to be an end to animal abuse, and/or cruelty.‬
    Leslie Mastromatteo

  21. Excellent article with many questions needing to be answered. Keep the pressure on folks.

    Jeanne Ruf

  22. Great article,very well written and points to all the questions that need to be asked!!In the end,everyone wants to see justice for these poor helpless babies.
    Angie Wright

  23. I contacted the AQHA as I am a life member, as soon as I found out about Dual Peppy. Got a nice email back that they would look into it.
    Kathy Holt

  24. Thank you for your excellent article, I will look forward to reading your take on this horrendous incident.
    Smiley

  25. Both Brunzells should be held accountable….AQHA records should show who the owners are and in my opinion all partners in the syndicate should be named. I find it odd that AQHA acted so quickly to suspend Sherry without a judges order or criminal conviction, as they usually state is necessary for them to act. Justice for Dual Peppy should have been further investigated in this piece although some of their allegations are dispelled in this article, albeat rather surupticiously. I also know the Brunzells but have not spoken with them in years and honestly would never have thought this could happen…….they truly cared about their horses when we were familiar with them. As to where the horses should go…that is a good question but to me “justice for Dual Peppy” would entail giving them to someone who has a true claim to Dual Peppy and the others….maybe AQHA can assist in making his ownership known and past ownership clear before people who are not aware of the situation make suggestions.
    Karen Rogers Smillie

  26. Think most would agree that El Paso Sheriff’s Department did an awful job in reference to the Brunzell case. If it hadn’t been for Diana Ragula standing firm, calling the media when the Sheriff didn’t respond and not giving in who knows how many of the others would have died. As it is, the remaining animals had to stay in that barn from hell for three more days and Diana wasn’t about to give up! At the first court hearing the sheriff deputy was equally as “lame”. Admitted that his “investigation” was not close to thorough and made excuses all over the place trying to cover their, sorry, stupidity. Then other cases have come up where same thing happened – sheriff did NOTHING for abused horses. Nothing. Am referring to the horses in Calhan. Well, look at what is going on in the Sheriffs Department. It is an unbelievable the mess and won’t go into everything but a movement to get Sheriff to resign. How can that department uphold the law when it is lawless. A shambles! So very sad. New Sheriff going to be elected soon so Maketa will bE gone. So happy to see so many coming together to do the right thing and happy to see people like you who don’t even live in Colorado and making a difference with horrible problem of abuse! Thank you. :). Again. 🙂

  27. Thank you for such a great article and for all your help. That’s awesome!!!
    C. F. Babcock

  28. Excellent article.
    Barbara Berg

  29. Great article.
    Lisa Michelle

  30. Great article, fingers crossed, prayers said
    Holly Heising

  31. So many questions are yet to be answered, but I am thankful the surviving horses are receiving proper care.
    Ginny Higgins Griswold

  32. Excellent article. One of the best I’ve read so far.
    Dottie Fayette

  33. Excellent article! Let’s keep it going.
    Stephanie Mills

  34. Great article, he was right on I think!
    Carrie Lauren Vaught

  35. Wonderful article and very well written
    Lily Miller

  36. Excellent information and his opinions!!
    Connie Winner

  37. Totally spot on….Thank You for this article!!!!!
    Lori Mcbride

  38. Great article !!!!!!!!
    Bonnie McIntosh

  39. Who can explain why the Brunzell’s were only charged with 3 counts of abuse, neglect, and cruelty? And who charged them with only 3 counts? There should be one charge for each dead horse, still living but starved horse, and the Llamas. And should we press the DA for more than just 3 counts?

    Judy Amon

    • I don’t know how many criminal charges were applied in the onset of this case but criminal charges can be applied or withdrawn by the DA as the case evolves and more relevant facts are revealed. It’s not uncommon for a few charges to be applied to set the stage for more charges later on at the conclusion of the investigation. The initial charges were probably applied just to use as a basis to seize the horses and llamas.
      Rick Dennis

      • Thank you Rick for explaining this to me.
        Judy Amon

  40. Good article- thanks Rick- keep the info coming!
    Lynn Adams-Wertelet

  41. Excellent read!
    Jerie DeSalvo Olsen

  42. Good read, He makes the most sense out of this mess.

    Monique LeCompte Bontrager

  43. Well this was refreshing to read, albeit for a horrible situation.
    Kate Dougherty

  44. Great article.
    Leslie Critchett Thomas

  45. Thank you.

    Patricia Canne

  46. Very well writteñ a great read dont miss it must read

    Joan Silveira

  47. Thank you for a tremendous article

    Ginger Fager

  48. Very good article concerning Justice for Dual Peppy!
    Marsha Roth

  49. Very well written article.
    Susan Michelson

  50. Excellent article with many questions needing to be answered. Keep the pressure on folks.
    Jeanne Ruf

  51. A great read!

    Doris Carpenter

  52. Well-written article….hope & pray justice is served for DP and all the other animals found in that horrible place.
    Keleen Cody

  53. Great article! Animals deserve to be treated properly.
    Theresa Kingsbury

  54. Great article,very well written and points to all the questions that need to be asked!!In the end,everyone wants to see justice for these poor helpless babies
    Angie Wright

  55. Thank you Rick Dennis. We are all thinking these same things. Also, should a professional recuse themselves from evaluating these horses if they have been compensated by the owners in the past? Many people are watching this case!
    Jerri Nance

  56. Well written.
    Laura McClure

  57. Excellent article and well written! I’m guessing when you go to heaven your wings will be horses.

    Love ya,

    Kathie Jeronowitz

  58. Enjoyed It!
    Lucia Carroll, Rate My Horse Pro

  59. Another great article. Poor horses!!
    Donna Posey Bond

  60. Mr. Dennis
    Thank you for your very insightful article. Your vast knowledge and experience in the criminal justice system has helped everyone understand the legal complexity of the Dual Peppy case.
    Joan

  61. Rick,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful article and your helping us with the EPCSO. I’ve taken the liberty to forward your article to the District Attorney!
    Patrice

  62. Rick,
    Thank you for your time, experiences and your contributions to Justice For Dual Peppy and our community! I’ve shared the article with the DA, the Sheriffs Office and my friends. Great Job!!
    Brenda

  63. Thank you Rick Dennis for your educated input and making the CALL!!!
    Barbara

  64. Thank you for your aid to these helpless horses; My horsemen Father taught me as a small child; “When you lock an animal up where they cannot get out to fend for themselves it’s your responsibility to see they are cared for + before yourself”. Its a pretty simple concept to understand. Some of the worst cases that have taken place within the horse industry drawing a lot of attention, the horses were not owned by individuals who themselves were subject to starving or in lack of luxuries that could have afforded them ways to see their horses were taken care of. From my window on these situations; the lack of knowledge of law officers & the court participants, has led to a continuation of these sad affairs. Years ago, I was called as an expert witness for a horse cruelty case; along with five licensed Vets, the latter who all testified; the 20 some horses, including mares with colts still on them, had consumed all their body weight & were just skin over bones, trying to keep warm in deep snow & December minus degree temperature of Northern USA. I sat in disgust, while a good per-cent of the Jury nodded off, some nearly fell sound asleep. I was appalled & in total disbelief when the result was a hung jury. To this day, I still believe any normal person with only the horrific photos as proof, could have denied the poor horses condition or ignored the lack of responsibility of the owners. The pleadings of innocence of the owners was ridiculous from a horse person’s point of view. The defendants could afford a defense Attorney, held access to large land holdings & trappings of all sorts. The county decided it was to expensive to hold another trial, thus the defendants hired an Attorney to threaten those of us who had testified with a Lawsuit, along with; Animal Control Officers, County Officials & various others I no longer recall. The crux I believe is; its up to horsemen, along with all of the horse breed associations to band together to see; there are plain & simple procedures for handling the abuse that some of the finest bred horses on this continent have been subjected to. Pleading poverty by the abusers while their living conditions are well & above poverty level is no excuse; the poorest of any horse owner has the ability to make a phone call for various forms of help.

    • Thank you very much for a well written update on this most deplorable situation. Please keep us updated in the future. I hope to read that these people have been sentenced on multiple neglect charges and sentenced to jail terms of not less than life for each of them.
      One can wish,right??

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