The Moffat County Sheriff's Office last week received a call that animals belonging to an Alaska man riding a horse to Mexico were being neglected. But authorities say the report of neglect was unfounded and that the animals are fine.
Gary Nichols, livestock investigator and animal protection officer for the Sheriff's Office, said he checked on the five horses and two dogs at a home in rural Moffat County. He said he found the animals had "ample feed and ample water."
Other than two open wounds on one of the horses, the animals were fine, Nichols said.
The horse's wounds were being treated, Nichols said.
The horses belong to Jeremiah Karsten, 19, of Palmer, Alaska.
Karsten is riding a horse from Alaska to Mexico. He passed through Craig earlier this month and left behind two of his horses at a residence in Moffat County.
Before leaving the area, Karsten made arrangements to have two of the horses boarded for a few weeks, Nichols said.
Local businesses donated hay and grain to the person who boarded Karsten's horses, Nichols said.
Although the report of neglect proved to be unfounded, Nichols said he would check on the horses regularly until Karsten returns to pick them up.
The horses are thin, but they weren't unhealthy, Nichols said.
"The horses are not overly fat," Nichols said. "These horses do get a lot of exercise."
Karsten rides one horse and uses the others to carry his supplies.
In a previous interview, Karsten said he trades horses for fresh ones about every 300 miles.
Reports of animal neglect are more common during the winter, Nichols said.
Most reports come from people who see animals they think are being neglected, Nichols said.
"The majority of them are unfounded," Nichols said.
But the Sheriff's Office files criminal neglect charges in some cases, Nichols said.
An anonymous caller reported that he or she thought Karsten's animals were being neglected, Nichols said.
Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or email@example.com.