Current charges not first for ranch family
Budge’s White River Ranch runs guided trips in wilderness areas in Eagle and Garfield counties.The ranch’s operators, John and Elaine Harrison, face multiple animal cruelty charges after they and their staff allegedly abused and neglected at least 13 horses used by the ranch.The Harrisons face animal cruelty charges in Douglas County, and possibly more charges in Garfield County.John’s father, Jack Harrison, is already on probation for separate animal cruelty charges. Garfield County Sheriff Lou Valario said Jack Harrison’s current charges stem from injuries reported in mid-October on a black-and-white paint horse. Valario said the horse had suffered a broken fetlock (ankle) and had not been cared for in at least a month. The horse was suffering from the break and possibly torn ligaments, all while continuing to be used as a pack animal, Valario said.Jack Harrison was also charged with animal cruelty in Elbert County in 2003, and sentenced to supervised probation. Jack had transferred ownership of the White River Ranch to son John and John’s wife, Elaine.U.S. Forest Service officials, which is responsible for the land on which the ranch operates, say those responsible for the ranch are also responsible for the animals on it.