Lack of staff and lack of vaccinations led to the death of 145 horses in Cañon

Wild horses interact at East Canon Prison Complex in Canon City.

Staffing shortages that have impacted vaccination programs are believed to have contributed to the spread of two diseases that have killed 145 feral horses at a Cañon City facility since April 23, according to a report released last week.

“Employees and staff who work at this facility are well trained and competent in working and caring for wild horses; however, this facility is understaffed in several ways,” according to the report.

“Staff shortages are affecting facility maintenance as well as the preparation, vaccination and hoof care of animals at the facility,” the report from the Federal Bureau of Land Management said. The facility is operated by the Bureau of Land Management and the Correctional Industries Program of the Colorado Department of Corrections, where inmates learn to care for and train horses and burros.