Man gets no jail time for deadly animal cruelty case

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — On Tuesday, the man in charge of caring for horses on an El Paso County property was sentenced to probation after admitting to letting horses die in his care.

Deputies said Brian Holloway, 53, was arrested in April on two counts of felony cruelty to animals and 10 counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals. 

Holloway sentenced to 2 years probation and a 5-year ban on owning animals with the exception of his mom’s two dogs which he lives with but is not the primary caretaker.

The judge said the abuse was “disgusting, egregious and shameful” and people should be sent to jail for doing things like this.

He is also required to undergo a mental health evaluation, 12 counseling sessions, and a cognitive skill course. The prosecution brought up that they wish he could have his focus on helping the community he hurt but they believe the horse community would not want him near their organizations.

Animal advocates, like Megan Miller — who runs a horse boarding facility and gave an impact statement at Tuesday’s sentencing — wishes for a harsher punishment.

“None of us understand why, this keeps happening why there is a red carpet in El Paso County, for people who want to treat animals this way. we are trying to combat it but its a frustrating uphill battle for sure,” said Megan. “We’re unbelievably disappointed with how light this sentence is, we feel absolutely, that jail time should be mandatory in circumstances like this.”

The charges come after deputies found 10 emaciated horses and two dead horses on a property on Slocum Road in March of 2019. The 10 living horses were seized and taken to a boarding facility. 

After the horses were seized, the femur bones from the two dead horses were sent in for testing.

Colorado State University did a bone marrow fat content analysis on the bones. A healthy horse should have a bone marrow fat content between 63 percent and 99 percent. The results from the two horses under Holloway’s care was 3.91 percent and 7.29 percent.

>>See the full affidavit below:

Megan Miller is part of a group who was asked to help the day they were seized.

“I’m speechless it’s so heart-wrenching to see when people allow things like that to happen. They were in their own feces up to their knees,” Miller said. “They were just walking skeletons with skin wrapped around them. They were so weak they could barely walk to the trailer. It just defies description honestly.”

In an El Paso County courtroom, Holloway stood up said, “I’m sorry.”

Holloway also said his pride got in the way of his responsibility to care for the animals. He was embarrassed to ask for help to take care of them when he was in debt after being ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in a separate civil lawsuit.

“I’m sorry but embarrassment is not an excuse for letting an animal die,” Miller said.

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