Idaho Falls
30° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

Woman at center of horse abuse case speaks out

By By Caleb James, Reporter
Published On: Apr 16 2013 11:20:31 PM CDT

Caleb James reports.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

On Tuesday night, the woman accused of neglecting her horses in Bonneville County opens up about the case

Sharon Wilson pleaded not guilty to charges of permitting an animal to go without care on Tuesday after the condition of horses on her property caught the attention of law enforcement in March.

But she wasn't the only one fighting her charges.  

"I do not abuse my horses," said Wilson. "They're fed twice a day, everyday. They all are."

Facing animal neglect charges, Wilson was in tears after a court appearance Tuesday.

"Now to be charged with withholding feed, or withholding care, it's very very painful," she said.
 
In March, our station aired stories on Wilson's horses after photos of her property south of Ucon prompted a social media uproar.
 
Charges were filed soon after, and Wilson voluntarily relinquished two horses to the county.

"I'm going to plead not guilty," she said in court.
 
Animal advocates filled the courtroom -- but another "Sharon" was there, too.

Sharon Willamson said she's never met Wilson before Tuesday, but stood by her side at the defendant's table.

"My support is upholding the constitution," said Williamson.

Williamson said the charges against Wilson are counterproductive and violate property rights.

"I don't know Sharon," said Williamson. "But if she so chooses to starve her animals, that's her constitutional right."
 
Wilson insists she doesn't starve her animals.  

"They are why I keep going," said Wilson.

To those accusing her of abuse, Wilson has a clear message:

"I think they need to get a life, stay out of my business and mind their own business," said Wilson. "Do I have horses I wish were in better condition? Of course I do. But they're mid 20's."

A representative of the Helping Animals Rescue Team on Tuesday said even though Wilson's horses may be considered personal property, there are still laws on the Idaho books preventing abuse and neglect, and that's where the charges have merit.

Wilson's pre-trail conference is set for the morning of May 23rd.

Advertisement