Prosecute Shelter for Starving Horses to Death


Target: Broadwater County Attorney Karla Mae Bosse

Goal: Prosecute owners of Rocky Acres horse shelter for starving horses to death

Owners of the Rocky Acres Horse Rescue in Townsend, Montana have recently been charged with 35 counts of animal cruelty. The chargers follow a raid in which 28 horses, 5 goats and a donkey were seized from the property. Horses recovered from the facility were found starving to death. Carcasses recovered from the property revealed that some animals had already died due to starvation. Please sign this petition to urge the local government to prosecute the owners of this facility to the full extent of the law.

The owners of Rocky Acres Rescue, Dalene Ann Rindal and Thomas William Jessberger, have both been arrested and are being held on $10,000 bail. They were charged with one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals and 34 counts of felony cruelty to animals. Rindal and Jessberger face up to 68 years in prison and a fine of $85,000 each.

Prior to the raid on the facility, the Broadwater County Sheriff’s Office had been conducting an ongoing investigation. Complaints had been received from neighbors and former volunteers from the rescue. The raid was conducted after the owners refused a voluntary inspection of the property. The veterinarian that examined the 35 seized animals determined that they were all suffering from malnutrition.

Some of the horses that had been left at the shelter were not amongst the seized animals. One of these animals, a mare named Chili, was discovered in one of the graves at the property. The managers of Rocky Acres Rescue had refused to return the mare to her owners because of alleged non-payment of boarding fees and had been the subject of an ongoing lawsuit.

It is shocking that this severe animal abuse was taking place at an alleged “animal rescue.”  The owners of the facility responsible for this abuse should be punished for their actions. Please sign this petition to tell local prosecutors not to take these crimes lightly and to prosecute these crimes to the full extent of the law.


Dear Broadwater County Attorney Karla Mae Bosse:

I am writing to you regarding the recent animal abuse that occurred at the Rocky Acres Horse Rescue in Townsend, Montana. The abuse that occurred at this “rescue” facility is shocking. It has been reported that all of the animals seized were suffering from malnutrition, and that some of the animals had already starved to death. There is no excuse for treating animals this way.

I would like to commend your local government for taking action to arrest and charge the owners of this facility with many counts of animal cruelty. Crimes like this should not be taken lightly. An example should be set that animal abuse will not be tolerated. I encourage you to prosecute the owners of this facility appropriately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mikel Ortega via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Well this is par for the course in today’s world. There is way to much of this crap going on. I agree every shelter should have an on going inspection done without prior notification. And there should be an open line for people to report any possible abuse that is taking place. These inspectors should have the authority to enter a property if abuse is suspected. The guilty parties not only be sent to prison but also forfeit any property for sale to care for any animals that are left and if they have murdered them all then the funds should be put in a fund aimed at the care and rescue of victims everywhere. Send their sorry arses up the river with no parole.

  2. Cecily Colloby. says:

    ….and this happened at a horse RESCUE centre??? What the hell are these people doing “rescuing” horses only to starve them to death??? Get rid of these useless individuals-starve THEM to death. Sorry, David Lavery, a firing squad would be too quick for them-they should suffer the same as the horses did, for a long time.

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