Hill County Cruelty Case.
This is a Cruelty case where the Wild Horse Foundation IS NOT the investigating agency. The out come is NOT left up to the Wild Horse Foundation or its Officers. This case has to be heard by a Court in 10 days in Hill County. As of what we know right now, we can only guess that all animals will be awarded to the HSNT and they do not have the room to care for these animals.
We were not told of the court date nor would we request to take these on to place in homes. The Mission of the Wild Horse Foundation is to Protect and Preserve our native wild horses and burros.
Working with the Humane Society of North Texas, we were requested to assist with the removal of these animals, on March 2, 2009
On Monday, March 2, HSNT gave me a call and asked about the use of our Wrangler contact Steve Willenborg and stated he would be available for her use. This case was in the making almost a month prior to this date. After this call I phoned my wrangler and asked him to arrange for his crew, all professional local cowboys to assist starting on Thursday, March 5. The warrant was served on Wednesday March 4, by Hill County Deputy Sheriffs.
After a question I asked HSNT Ms. Grambort I was told immediately everything was handled. My question was, did any anyone do a preliminary investigation and who prompted the call initially? I was told a neighbor did and that was it, no more answer.
In my years of doing cruelty investigation 90% of the complaints are people who just hate their neighbors and usually are not worthy calls.
On the immediate site, there were dead animals on the ground from strangles. The girlfriend of the accused made all aware that Glen Rose Vet Services had determined all were infected with this disease, Strangles, a highly infectious disease with horses. Now, they should have been buried but weren’t. It looked bad because of this but many ranchers leave their dead cows right where they fall and no one complains about them.
In this case, after the warrant was served and animals were being removed around noon due to the respondent being scared and hid in the woods and then had a pistol grip shotgun showed up in front of deputies and placed the deputies life in jeopardy, they arrested him under 2 counts of attempted capitol murder. They did have a helicopter looking for him that Thursday morning.
The animal removal process began. Earlier that day Steve had arranged for 2 commercial trucks, 1 double decker for cattle and 1 straight deck for horses along with several other dully rigs and 36′ trailers to haul animals with.
With the animals being removed from Rio Vistas and taken to Blum, several of the HSNT volunteers got into the horse pens and caused the horses to turn back onto the wranglers and caused one of the wranglers to get hit and kicked causing a broken toe and bruised forearm injury. One of the deputies had to scream at the volunteers to get the heck out of the way before they got some one hurt mainly the wranglers who are professional cowboys. Again, not one bit of respect for the people who do this for a living, not for anyone from the Wild Horse Foundation or for the Wranglers from the HSNT people. The HSNT asked us for assistance and all they did was get in the way.
We understand this was a serious under taking for the HSNT but they did not have a plan, they should have asked us for our advice from the start on how to achieve this and this would have not turn out bad. All I was asked was by Sandy Grambort, “Have I ever heard of a case this large before?” and I replied, “Yes, we did a case a year ago with about 40 horses and over 150 cattle” and she didn’t ask anymore questions. I told her Sheriff Department do not do these because of budgets and time constraints. No county can afford to do these. Again, it fell on deaf ears. Next,
I had secured the Wild Horse Foundation panels for a squeeze shoot and pens for the lease pasture in Mart for Benton Parks pasture. Mr. Parks was nice enough to lease us this on a $2.00 per head per daily basis. This was neutral enough and close enough to Hill county to be safe and secure.
During the set up there several volunteers from the HSNT showed up, Tammy Roberts and a couple more and one with a HSUS shirt starting running her mouth on who could do what and who was going to do what, until I introduced myself and the I told her the local news crew was there for me and the WHF. The person failed to be polite enough to introduce herself but was demanding that the news crew leave as they were on private property, that I arranged for this animal removal under the Foundation, I informed her they were not leaving. She was not in charge, I was here.
As I was setting up the pens, I was injured due to lack of volunteers that Sandy Grambort stated she would have at the sanctuary site. Within the hour Sandy called and stated that she did not need the panels in Mart after all so I being injured removed the panels, as filmed by the local television crew for documentation. At 4 pm no animals, at 10 pm no animals they did show up around 1 am to 3 am on Friday morning.
It should be pointed out that at this time, Sandy Grambort approved the loading and hauling of horses on the DOUBLE DECKER truck that was there for cattle, and this practice is against federal law. This is a Humane Officer of the Humane Society Of North Texas authorizing the transporting of horses on a double truck. This is strike one on her.
Sandy Grambort on Thursday afternoon after I arrived in Laguna Park at the pens proceeded to curse me out like a navy sailor because she thought I brought the news crew in to Rio Vista, where 5-6 Hill county Deputies were guarding the gate to keep them out and when they went to lunch the FOX news Crew went in and that’s when they filmed the capture of the respondent. (We are NBC TV News Contributors)I had nothing to do with that and that night on television the respondents girlfriend stated she called the news crew in. This is strike two on Sandy Grambort. I informed Sandy Grambort that I was injured at the Mart location and she stated, “I don’t give a dam and don’t care”. Her professionalism really showed this day, glad she was not in charge of a national disaster. She left me a nice butt chewing on my cell phone voice mail recording threatening me and all the animals. The voice mail tells it all.
The last stone is that when the news crew reported that the horses had been under care from a vet for strangles and been seen by a Glen Rose Veterinarian and the girlfriend of the respondent showed paper work on television showed that this cruelty investigation should have been dropped. Better yet as of today the Texas A & M University vets had these animals under sort of quarantine and were not to be removed off of the land due to the sickness they had. And if this is the true case and the animals were removed by order of the Humane Society of North Texas without properly investigating all aspects of this case then thats strike 3 on Sandy Grambort and she should be fired from her job, no acception.
Estimated costs as of today, Professional Cowboys and wranglers and trucks for removal , $7,300.00, Sandy on a voice mail told me she was taking over the lease and care of animals so the lease on the land should be around $4,800.00 for 10 days, this is figured by weight of feed, 234 animals at 25 pounds per hay per day, estimated 6,000 pounds or $80. per round bale at 1000 pounds each equals $480.00 per day times 10 days equals $4,800.00 not including water or salt blocks or extra cubes. Total so far $12,100.00
Now lets look at drawing coggins, this is the blood test for E.I.A., equine infectious anemia, on 164 horses at a regular cost of $25.00, equals $4,100.00 but Dr. Breuner works for the HSNT so its probaly a slight cheaper cost, but then drawing blood on 60 cows $1,500.00, now add this $5,600 to the $12,100 equals $17,700.00 and we haven’t added in the cost of the deputies.
Johnson County Deputy Shaw estimated cost $350.00 per day, $1050.00 and then Hill county deputies at $350.00 per officer per day, 5, $5,250.00 plus the Sheriff, Sheriff Lyons at $500.00 per day. $1,500.00 this is just a estimate for the deputies and Sheriff. But add in the guestimate, $7,800.00 makes this cruelty case worth $25,500.00. OOPS, forgot to add in the wormer, so if you add in the wormer for the horses at 164 @ average $8.95 ea. = $1,467.80 and the purple juice for the cows at $500.00 for a standard 4 gallons now the total is $27,467.80 which does not include the cost of the volunteers gas, food, water and generators and HSNT staff salaries so you could easily say this was a $30,000.00 adventure gone. I hope they win this case, to recoup this cost would make each horse adopt out at $185.00 and today economic time this won’t happen. The Sheriff Department could take the cows and sell them to offset his cost for his deputies.
And I haven’t added my fee in for the time and travel to set up the panels and then tear them back down, $500.00, and then the logistics of getting my wranglers together to assist, priceless as the Sheriff would tell you. Without my wranglers and cowboy this could not have been done.
The most important fact again, is that the lease land will not be able to carry any cattle or livestock on it for a period of 1 year due to the disease that these animals have on it so the HSNT should be responsible for total lease for a period of one year on this land because of there lack of experience and ignorance. Even if Benton Parks takes them to small claims court he would win, they should have never removed these animals from where they were. Value here is over $$20,000.00.
Now for the sad truth, my true gut instincts tell me that because they investigation was not complete, all aspects was not covered the animals could be returned to the owner even though he may do some jail time the animals are still his because they were under a health quarantine and not one person checked this out and this is why its so important to do a thorough preliminary investigation before taking on a case of this size.
The Wild Horse Foundation cares about all animals but we care about the people to. We must always remember that people are responsible but we have to give them the benefit of the doubt every time. We see people everyday, one pay check away from being homeless. Its all around us and we have to remember to be kind to our neighbors under every circumstance even today under hard times.
We need each other more today than any other so please remember when your reporting a neighbor for cruelty of a animal please make sure you have all the facts. Money is tight for all of us.
I do not take to threats and I wish HSNT to act on Sandy Grambort with responsible action. I sincerely think a face to face apology from her to me would do the honorable thing.
This is one case the Wild Horse Foundation should have taken the lead in and not been just in the background to assist but since we were told to stay out after the collection of the animals we were glad to oblige. We did not accept any legal obligation on this case.
I have the voice mails on cd at my lawyers office if anyone wants a copy. Now if anything happens to my horses or me or anything on my ranch, its all on Sandy Grambort and HSNT. She has a temper you wouldn’t beleive.
I was told the court date is tomorrow Friday the thirteenth, but I have not been informed to be there as a non-profit organization or person by anyone.
The man is on 1.2 million dollar bond, only 25 counts of animal cruelty the rest on his dumbness with the shotgun being scared.
The moral of the story should be that COMMUNICATION IS KEY!
(Sandy Grambort has since been terminated by HSNT)