Woman arrested following investigation into Columbia Falls horse abuse

A California woman has been arrested following an investigation into horse abuse and neglect at a residence in the Columbia Falls area that started in September.

Cynthia Jean Hamilton, 68, of Norco, California, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty and is in custody at the Flathead County Detention Center, according to a Thursday press release.


On Sept. 19, Flathead County Animal Control was dispatched to a home in Columbia Falls for an animal cruelty complaint involving several horses.

An investigation was opened and detectives were granted a search warrant, which found 17 horses in very poor condition on the property, including one horse that may have died prior to the initial report.

The animals remain in the care of Flathead County Animal Control.

“These types of cases, no matter what kind of animal, place strain on the resources Flathead County agencies currently have in regards to care for seized animals,” the press release said. 

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The horses are still in need of grass hay or light alfalfa grass hay. To donate, email horses@flathead.mt.gov

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