New court documents reveal grisly details of a massive animal-abuse case suspected of happening in western La Plata County.
The report, filed by the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, describes the condition of more than 30 animals that lived in cages filled with urine and feces, had injuries that went untreated or lacked access to water and food.
In one instance, a horse was in such poor condition, it had to be euthanized.
District Attorney Christian Champagne declined to comment for this story, citing the pending legal case.
Calls to the couple charged – Jeffery and Elizabeth Jackson – were not returned.
In November 2017, authorities executed an animal seizure on the Jacksons’ property in southwestern La Plata County after a lengthy investigation into the mistreatment of animals.
The couple, who have pleaded not guilty, were originally charged with more than 100 counts of animal cruelty. Last month, however, the number of charges was reduced to 31 counts of animal cruelty.
“We reduced the number of counts to reflect the counts for which we have the strongest evidence,” Champagne told The Durango Herald at the time.
The District Attorney’s Office on Aug. 26 submitted to the courts a “bill of particulars” that explains the reason behind each count of animal cruelty.
Most animals, according to court records, were housed in a manner that resulted in “chronic or repeated serious physical harm.” The accounts show they were also deprived of necessary sustenance, mistreated and neglected.
Also, nearly all the animals were in danger of stepping on “numerous amounts of metal debris” on the property. Several animals had been injured by the metal debris, including a pig found with a nail in its foot, according to the bill of particulars.
A male sorrel horse that was found on the property had to be euthanized “due to its poor condition” as a result of mistreatment and neglect, court documents show.
A duck and two chickens were “found in a filthy cage surrounded by urine and feces, without access to food or water.”
A small shih tzu mix dog was found with “severely matted hair and was stuck to the floor of the residence by its own feces.”
A white sheep was seen limping on videos taken Oct. 25, 2017, a few weeks before the seizure.
Two horses had a laceration on their left hind legs.
Of the eight horses listed in the court document, all were housed in a dangerous manner, deprived of necessary sustenance and had a “low body condition score,” meaning the animals were underfed and malnourished, the court document says.
All of the horses were at risk of stepping on dangerous metal debris around the property.
Eleven pigs were found “running loose on the property … able to access and roll in sharp debris and other hazards.”
One pig was found in an enclosure without feed or water. Another boar pig was found in an enclosure without food or water and was kept “in such a small pen it could not turn around inside of its enclosure without injuring itself.”
Jeffery Jackson is set for a three-day jury trial starting Nov. 29.
Elizabeth Jackson, who is also referred to in court documents by her maiden name, Miera, is set for a three-day jury trial starting Dec. 13.
Elizabeth Jackson is also charged with poaching after investigators allegedly found a poached elk on the property.