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Vernon rancher under the microscope again

A member of the Okanagan Indian Band says she is worried about the health of some horses on a nearby ranch in Vernon. Global News

Seven years ago, a Vernon rancher was found guilty of “failing to provide necessaries for an animal,” after the SPCA seized several horses and dogs from her Irish Creek Road property.

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At the time, Carla Christman admitted she was way over her head with animals.

“I had too many different animals — breeding operations and we would never do that again,” Christman said in 2012.

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But now there are renewed concerns about the welfare of the horses on her ranch.

Brenda Tonasket, a member of the Okanagan Indian Band, says she has three of Christman’s horses — they ended up on her property from the range.

“He couldn’t walk,” Tonasket said of one horse. “He had a thrush so bad that half his foot had fallen off.”

Tonasket says she’s keeping on an eye on Christman’s animals — monitoring their health.

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“The last three years, I’ve made it my mission to go up and photograph those horses in the winter because I worry about their well-being,” said Tonasket.

The horses are getting hay every single day.

Christman, who has dozens of horses on her property, denies she’s neglecting her animals.

“We are actively trying to downsize,” said Christman. “We are not intentionally breeding.”

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Christman says the real issue here is a feud between herself and the Okanagan Indian Band, and that’s she’s doing everything in her power to keep her animals healthy.

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The SPCA told Global News that it found only a few of horses that were underweight and the rest of the animals appeared to be healthy. Despite that, Tonasket vows to keep the pressure on.

“I’ve made it no secret to the Christmans,” said Tonasket. “I watch their horses every year.”


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