Press Release


Judge rules horses to be forfeited to KCSO

Kittitas County, WA - 07/25/2016 - On May 10, 2016, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office seized 14 horses from property off of Westside Rd near South Cle Elum, in conjunction with an animal cruelty investigation. After numerous continuations by the defense, the forfeiture hearing was finally held on July 21, 2016, in the Superior Court of Kittitas County. Superior Court Judge Scott R. Sparks ruled in favor of the Sheriff’s Office seizure and the 14 horses were forfeited to KCSO.

The horses were initially kept at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds, then moved to pasture once they were well enough to be moved.  Basic needs, such as proper nutrition, hoof care and dental care, were attended to while the horses were in our possession.  All 14 horses have seen remarkable recoveries.

KCSO would like to thank Rodeo City Equine Rescue for their tireless efforts during this incident.  They were responsible for feeding the horses, cleaning stalls and exercising the horses while they were at the fairgrounds.  Rodeo City Equine Rescue also paid for the all the hoof trimming, along with necessary dental work for all 14 horses.  Rodeo City Equine Rescue provided supplements, pellets, pine shavings and many other items that were necessary to effectively nurse the horses back to health.  Rodeo City Equine Rescue invested roughly 360 hours and approx. $4,900 while the horses were in our care.   Rodeo City Equine Rescue also managed donations that helped these horses to gain weight, be free of pain and begin to live healthy lives.

 KCSO would also like to thank the following:  veterinarians,  Dr. Michael Fuller, Dr. Erin Zamzow who were involved in examining the horses and making recommendations about nutrition, hoof care and dental care which allowed each horse to make great strides in their overall health.  Farriers, Diedra Petrina and Paul Rogers who took care of all 14 horses hooves.  Bobbi Broderius and all the 4-H volunteers who clocked in more than 150 hours of cleaning stalls, feeding and exercising the horses.  The Eastern Washington Quarter Horse Association for cleaning stalls and helping with the transporting of the horses.  The Ellensburg Rodeo Posse for help with taking care of the horses and transporting them.  Thank you to all who donated time, money, feed, shavings and pasture land for all the horses. “I do not know what we would have done without everyone’s help,” said Cmdr. Darren Higashiyama.   “It is truly remarkable to see the whole community pull together and volunteer so much to see these horses back to health.”

The horse will now be adopted out to vetted, loving and caring homes.  Before and after pictures along with the adoption process will be published on the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office Facebook site this week.

Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at


Contact: Darren Higashiyama, Commander (509) 933-8206