NewsCrime and Courts


Woman jailed in connection with Flathead County animal cruelty case

Cynthia Jean Hamilton
Posted at 11:35 AM, Dec 30, 2021

KALISPELL — A California woman has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty accused of starving horses in the Flathead.

Cynthia Jean Hamilton, 68 of Norco, California is charged with Aggravated Animal Cruelty and is currently behind bars at the Flathead County Detention Center.

According to Flathead County Sheriff's Office, on Sept. 19, Flathead County Animal Control was dispatched to a residence in the Columbia Falls area for an animal cruelty complaint involving several horses. Initial observation by responding animal wardens led them to believe the five horses were not being fed adequately.

During the course of their investigation, information was gathered indicating there were likely more horses belonging to the same owner being pastured at other addresses around Flathead County. While following up on this information wardens located 17 horses in total, all in very poor condition. It was reported that one horse may have died prior to the initial report.

Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office applied for and were granted a search warrant for the pastures and subsequently seized 17 horses in various stages of starvation and other health issues.

The animals are currently in the care of Flathead County Animal Control. The Sheriff's Office notes these types of cases place a strain on the resources the agencies currently have in regards to care for seized animals.

This group of horses needs grass hay or light alfalfa grass hay. Anyone who is able to donate is asked to email indicating what you are willing to donate.