Deputies rescued several animals and arrested a Fort Collins woman in a cruelty and neglect case.
In late August, the Bureau of Animal Protection contacted the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office regarding the welfare of livestock at a property in the 2900 block of West Mulberry Street. LCSO deputies and a Bureau of Animal Protection veterinarian visited the residence to investigate.
Large amounts of trash, debris, and other hazards were visible from the edge of the property. A horse and llama were present as well. LCSO Deputy Maxwell, a certified Equine Investigator, identified signs of malnourishment in the horse. The llama also showed signs of neglect. After contacting the homeowner, Fran Fleming, 78, deputies determined that the animals lacked access to clean water, sufficient feed, or veterinary care. They also learned that two additional llamas had lived on the property but recently died. Fleming refused to allow deputies or the veterinarian to enter in order to further inspect the animals’ welfare.
Deputies obtained an arrest warrant for Fleming and a search warrant for the property. On September 25, Fleming was arrested on two counts of Cruelty to Animals (M1). During a search of the property, deputies found numerous animals. The horse and llama were removed and placed with local rescues where they will receive veterinary care. Multiple chickens, living and deceased, were also on the property; a rooster with significant health problems was taken to the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where it was euthanized.
“Animals absolutely deserve to have their basic needs met,” said Lt. Joshua Fast. “If that’s no longer possible for some reason, we strongly encourage owners to use the resources available in Larimer County to ensure a humane quality of life.”
LCSO would like to thank our partners at the Bureau of Animal Protection, Larimer County Animal Control, Larimer County Code Compliance, Larimer County Health Department, and Colorado State Brand Inspector for their assistance with this case, as well as the Southwest Llama Rescue and the Dumb Friends League for facilitating rescue resources.
The charges are merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
For more information about animal care resources, visit https://ag.colorado.gov/animals/bureau-of-animal protection-bap/species-specific-animal-care-resources.