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Acquitted of animal cruelty: Horse owner finally speaks out - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Acquitted of animal cruelty: Horse owner finally speaks out

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Penny Gingerich spends time with her horses hours after she was found not guilty on all 40 counts of animal abuse. (KOAA) Penny Gingerich spends time with her horses hours after she was found not guilty on all 40 counts of animal abuse. (KOAA)
FREMONT COUNTY -

The woman accused of abusing 40 horses in Fremont County was found not guilty on all charges on Friday afternoon.

For the first time in seven months, Penny Gingerich, is breathing a sigh of relief... acquitted on all 40 counts of animal cruelty.

She says the past year has been a nightmare with many rumors and allegations splashed across the headlines.

Now, she wants to set the record straight.

"I'm still kind of in a daze, I'm still waiting for reality to set in, I've been feeling like I've been living this nightmare since January," Penny Gingerich, owner of Gingerich Horse Leasing said.

Seven months ago, the Fremont County Sheriff's Office seized 63 horses from Gingerich's property in Penrose.

"I've got her standing there screaming, 'they're not taking my horses!' And what do you tell your daughter, you've got them saying they're taking them, you've got her loving these animals and they're taking them," she said.

While a judge ordered 24 of the horses in good condition to be returned to Gingerich back in March.

Animal control believed at least a third of all of her horses were considered emaciated, just skin and bones.

"They were getting a little on the thin side, like I have said that everybody has criticized, I had old horses, I had several old horses that were pushing late 20's to 32 to 35 and when they get that old, they are, they are going to break down in their body," she said. "They are not going to have a lot of fat."

Gingerich says she had been running a horse leasing business for the past three years, letting summer camps and other groups rent out her horses.

"And when you've got horses as livestock as a herd, those needs are different than if you've got one horse that you dump everything into," she said.

And she says the start of the investigation fell on poor timing.

"Yes my feeders were empty because I was waiting on a load of hay and it showed up within 24 hours after my horses were gone," she said.

Still, questioning why all of her horses were so quickly taken away in only a matter of six days.

"If they can do this to you, who's next?" she asked.

The Fremont County Sheriff's Office says they are very disappointed in this verdict and that justice wasn't served.

The next step here, Gingerich says she wants the rest of her horses back, all 39 of them that were spread out to rescue groups across the state.

She says her attorney is planning to file a motion to get them back in the next few weeks.

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