A dead horse on a farm near Knife Lake reported to the Humane Society of Minnesota led to felony charges for the animal’s owners.
According to the criminal complaint filed by the Kanabec County Attorney’s Office, the dead horse was first reported by Anoka Equine Veterinary Services, which alerted an investigator of the Humane Society of Minnesota, who worked with the Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office to investigate.
Sam Willam Strom, 28, and Alyssa Kathleen Strom, 28, of Mora owned four horses on the property in October, 2019. At that time, the KCSO and Humane Society were called out to investigate reports of the horses being in poor condition.
According to the complaint, one horse was removed from the property for immediate care and died a short time later. The horse was found to be malnourished and suffering from parasites. The three remaining horses were examined. One was healthy, the other two were observed to be thin. The Humane Society investigator advised the Stroms to provide them with better feed.
On Feb. 1, 2020, the Humane Society investigator returned to the property after a dead horse was reported on the property. According to the complaint the investigator believed the horse to have starved to death. A second horse on the property was alive, but appeared thin and no longer healthy. Alyssa signed this living horse over to the Humane Society for care.
The third horse that used to be on the property could not be found. According to the complaint, when questioned about its location Alyssa allegedly said she had no idea and assumed someone had taken it off the property.
Alyssa and Sam were both charged with two felony counts of mistreatment of animals and three misdemeanor counts of mistreatment of animals.