Accused advocates speak out


Lacy J. Dalton – Willis Lamm – Shirley Allen

Regarding Allegations of Abandonment of Horses

September 26, 2011

Recently the Nevada Department of Agriculture pressed charges against Lacy J. Dalton’s Let ‘Em Run Foundation, Willis Lamm and Shirley Allen alleging failure to mark or brand animals grazing on the open range, abandoning an animal, and allowing an animal to be deprived of necessary food or drink.  The complaint involved the release of eight Virginia Range horses onto over 100,000 acres of private rangeland with the landowner’s permission.

Dalton, Lamm and Allen categorically deny the charges.  Department records show that all of the animals were provided with USDA recognized individual animal identification.  The defendants will show that the range had ample grass and water and that the animals were monitored after their release.  We appreciate District Attorney Maddox’ willingness to listen to all the evidence that will be forthcoming.

At the request of the Department of Agriculture, the defendants previously had assisted in the release of some 55 horses owned by the Department in the same location, also with the landowner’s permission.  Those horses continue to share the same range as the eight Virginia Range horses released by Let ‘Em Run last year.

Let ‘Em Run is also prepared to present evidence of conduct by the department aimed at discrediting a number of horse and animal advocates who have been openly critical of illegal departmental activities.  Several of these advocates have filed claims with the Attorney General’s Office.

This is the same department that found it amusing when charitable organizations recently paid over three times the market value for Virginia Range horses in a shill bid scandal.  In a television interview Director Barbee simply stated, “It’s perfectly legal.”

The horse advocates will continue to protect the horses of the historic Virginia Range herd from the horrid fate of the slaughterhouse.  The people of Nevada expect Lacy, Willis and Shirley to fight for sensible and appropriate management of these horses as the people of Nevada believe is necessary.  Meanwhile we all, especially in Virginia City, must remain vigilant to protect our citizens and horses.

The State of Nevada needs to recognize that the right of Nevadans to hold their government accountable is what separates America from the rest of the world.  Freedom is always worth fighting for.

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