Man guilty of animal cruelty after 10 horses found dead sentenced

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MAGNA, Utah - A man found guilty of animal cruelty after 10 horses were found dead in his Magna pasture has been sentenced to jail time, which was suspended, a fine and community service Wednesday.

Shamus Haws was found guilty in September on four out of 11 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

That was after 10 horses he owned were found dead due to dehydration in 2014.

He said it was all a big misunderstanding and a tragic mistake.

His attorney said he was a life-long horse trainer with a sterling reputation who had about 250 horses at the time.

Haws said he had a contract employee who was supposed to water the horses in the Magna field but for whatever reason, that didn't happen and the animals died.

After an exhaustive misdemeanor trial, the judge said it simply would not be right to sentence Haws to jail Wednesday.

She did order him to pay a fine and to 50 hours of community service.

But Haws' attorney says her client has already paid a significant price for this accident and they want his record wiped clean.

Haws and his attorney will be appealing the guilty verdicts and will begin all over again with a trial in district court sometime next year.



      Haws said he had a contract employee who was supposed to water the horses in the Magna field. Sounds like he tried to do everything right S Jan. Looks like the judge agrees with me.

  • Lmanning

    I’ve met this man serval times. He’s a true man of integrity and this is such a horrific shame. When you have an agreement with somebody to take care of your horses watering and they fail to do so you should not be held accountable. Just like if you send your baby to daycare and they failed to take care of your child you are not held accountable. The judge in this case did the right thing and could see what a man of integrity he is. I will continue to pray for their family and pray that the DA will pursue the man whose name is Troy butcher I believe , who was supposed to be watering the horses instead. Let the Butcher family face the hell that his has been going through.

    • bob

      Just on the face of it it’s ridiculous to insist that anyone who owns livestock be held personally responsible for their care every second of every day and night.

      So, in Utah, you cannot hire people to take care of your livestock. YOU must do it. All the time.

      If I’m on his jury I know now my vote is going to go, unless the prosecution can disprove his story. And good luck with THAT. Farmers hire people all the time.

  • bob

    So all farmers are allowed to be personally responsible for every animal they own at all times?

    He paid someone to take care of them. THAT person is guilty.

  • bob

    If you pay someone to babysit your kids, and they leave them locked in a hot car and kill them, then YOU are responsible for the deaths, and YOU should go to jail.


    Or does this “logic” only apply to animals, since they’re more important than people?

  • cks

    Hey, he was never sentenced to jail time. It was recommended by the DA but the judge had a cooler head and gave a better outcome short of giving him nothing. This should never have gone to trial. Waste of the county tax payer’s money. The appeal will allow the real story to come out and people need to hear it. I did when I sat in court listening to this case. He should have been acquitted.

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