26 charges in Perham horse neglect case
Tom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent
Bruce and Allison Breun of Frazee appeared in Otter Tail County District Court on Monday to face 26 separate charges related to the abuse and neglect of 11 horses rescued from a farm north of Perham in November. The two individuals will each be assigned to court-appointed attorneys and will have their next court appearance at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, March 18. Judge Barbara Hanson released the defendants on their recognizance but ordered them to make and maintain contact with their attorneys and make all future court appearances. Assistant County Attorney Heather Brandborg described the horse case as, “a lengthy complaint.” Charges relate to each of the 11 horses individually, and include mistreatment and lack of care for animals, depriving them of food, and cruelty. The horses were seized Nov. 9. Assisting with their rescue, in cooperation with law enforcement, was Charlotte Tuhy, who, along with Joel Hildebrandt, owns the Hightail Horse Ranch and Rescue near Hawley, Minn. Tuhy trains and heals rescued horses and ponies. Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office deputies had previously obtained a search warrant to gather evidence at the farmstead. Also involved with the rescue was the Otter Tail County Humane Society. Authorities said the horses were dehydrated and dangerously underweight. Most were weak and unkempt. Hightail, as a noted in a previous article in the Perham Focus, takes in animals from all over the region, state and beyond. The ranch works with animal rescue groups and often takes in strays. Hightail is accepting donations to cover the cost of hay, feed, bedding, medicine and other needs. The ranch is also always looking for good volunteers to help feed, train and otherwise care for the animals.