Sussman Allowed to Keep 20 Horses

Sussman Keeps 20 Gila Horses, 520 Horses Rescued

ISPMB’s Herd Allowed up to 40 Horses

South Dakota officials reached a settlement with the operator of the purported charity International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB). The disposition allows Karen Sussman to keep 20 horses from the Gila River herd.

Ownership of the remaining 520 horses has been transferred from the plagued non-profit in Lantry to Fleet of Angels. The Colorado non-profit is finding the horses new homes.

Elaine Nash, Fleet of Angels executive director adds in a statement that the horses’ health varies. “While some are in good condition, many are underweight. Some also suffer from blindness or vision impairment.”

Fleet of Angels has permission to keep the horses at ISPMB for up to 60 days, although the group may work to find a more suitable adoption location. There are stipulations to utilize the property, including no photo taking while on ISPMB property.

State veterinarian Marc Hammrich, DVM garnered his opinion regarding the supposed mustang sanctuary last October stating, “animal neglect is present at this facility”. The court ordered ISPMB’s 810 horses impounded by sheriff deputies. Since the impoundment, Fleet of Angels and volunteers facilitated the adoption of 270 horses.

Sussman will choose 20 horses from the Gila River herd. The ISPMB had to pay $10,000 to the Dewey County Treasurer to retain ownership. The impoundment is modified to allow ISPMB to handle the care, custody, and control of the horses.

For the next 18 months, ISPMB must provide the horses with proper veterinary and farrier care. Additionally, Sussman agreed to follow a veterinarian’s recommendations after quarterly inspections.

ISPMB cannot allow the horse population to grow over 40 horses for the next 5-years in Dewy or Ziebach Counties.

Dewey and Ziebach County States Attorney Steve Aberle and Cheryl Laurenz-Bogue put the deal together. Fourth Circuit Court Judge Randall L. Macy approved the settlement between officials and ISPMB’s attorneys on January 30, 2017.


View Case