Horses taken from Box Elder property due to ‘neglect and abuse’

Owner claims her horses, ponies and donkeys were taken by ‘horse thieves’
After an initial visit a week earlier, Meade County seizes animals from Charm Farm.
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 1:25 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Several horses and donkeys were seized Friday, Feb. 24, from a residence on Eagle Ranch Road, Box Elder, due to what the Meade County Sheriff’s Office says was “neglect and abuse.”

The week before, owner Tamara Lile was cited for “allowing an animal to suffer.” According to a social media post by the sheriff’s office, a plan was developed for the care of the animals, but a follow-up investigation revealed the animals were still not being taken care of, even though there were resources to do so.

For several years, the farm has been reported to local authorities for alleged neglect and abuse of the animals. Neighbors who have allegedly made the reports say that the horses don’t get fed regularly.

The seizure was conducted Friday by the sheriff’s office working with the Meade County state’s attorney and the South Dakota Animal Industry Board.

In a Facebook post, Lile claims that her animals (five horses, three ponies, and two donkeys) were stolen; that the sheriff’s office was “trespassing at Eagle Ranch Road ... without warrant or court order!”

“I just saw all the trucks and trailers pull up and they just seized my horses. A couple of our other staff members had come to handle it and they asked them for a warrant or court order, and they said they were getting one the judge was signing it right now, and they would get it to us but there’s nothing you can do to stop us, were gonna seize these horses well get you the order. The court order never came the warrant never came,” Lile continued.

The case is still under investigation and charges are pending.

We reached out to the Meade County State’s attorney, and we will talk with them tomorrow on the situation.