Colorado group donates $20K for starving horses

Billings, Montana (AP) February 2011

A nonprofit organization based in Colorado has donated $20,000 toward caring for as many as 700 horses found without adequate food and water on private and Crow Reservation land in south-central Montana.

The Billings Gazette reports the American Humane Association made the donation last week, pushing the rescue fund for the horses over $50,000.

James Leachman pleaded not guilty last week to 10 counts of animal cruelty.

Most of the horses are grazing on the former Leachman Cattle Co. ranch 16 miles east of Billings, but horses have also wandered onto surrounding ranches and tribal lands.

Leachman’s Home Place ranch was sold at a federal foreclosure sale in July to the Stovall Holding Co., but Leachman’s company has a year to raise enough money to buy the ranch back.