Man Starved 3 Horses to Death Starting Rescue

The three horses in November, before winter set in at their pasture near Strawberry Lake. Submitted photo.

Ogema, Minnesota – Michael E. Dahl, a self-proclaimed spiritual leader and Ojibwe teacher, is attempting to raise $10,000 on Go Fund Me to start a horse rescue business.  He is currently under investigation in the starving death of 3 horses in his care last winter.  The three horses were a 2-year-old filly who was a descendant of Secretariat, that was given him by a local breeder as a spiritual gift, a horse he adopted from a rescue organization, and the third horse Dahl was caring for while its owner was away.  White Earth tribal police are investigating the deaths and if they recommend prosecution, will turn it over to the Becker County District Court.

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His GoFundMe said in part.  “Those of you that don’t know me, I will do my best to tell you a little bit about myself and my endeavors. … I am Michael Dahl and I am Ojibwe/Anishinaabe from the White Earth Reservation. I am a community man, meaning that i spend most of my time in my community and doing whatever I can to make it a better place. … I am also a horse lover and have been drawn to this place because it has 10 acres of land and room for pastures for my horses and a couple more. My dream is to turn this place into a “family horse rescue ranch” someday, so when a horse that needs to be rescued comes, a family would be able to assist in the recuperations and preparations for that horse to be adopted out.

This would also be an opportunity for the family to experience a triumph together and be able to work thru some of the tragedies and hardships that I had sat with them thru previously. When the horse is ready to be adopted, the family would have the option to adopt the horse themselves and then be able to assist in the upkeep of the horse and the ranch to help defray the costs of upkeep— and eventually bringing back and revitalizing the relationship with horses and our people. This is the long term dream…”

The three horses were found in a pen with no grass, no hay, and a half full tank of water that had frozen solid.  Across the fence was a field with round bales stored in it, but the horses wouldn’t break the fence or go over it to get to the feed.  Two of the horses died with their heads through the fence, trying to get to bits of brown grass on the other side.  There was strong evidence that the horses were knawing on wood to survive as long as they did.

The three horses died on the site of the proposed horse rescue Dahl is raising funds to start.   His friends and neighbors are shocked that he allowed the horses to die.  “I have taken care of Michael’s horses before when he was without money to care for his horses,” Honor the Earth Executive Director Winona LaDuke said. “He could have easily asked me for help. … To me, this is like killing a relative. I cannot understand this.”


Horse allegedly starved to death by Michael Dahl
This 2-year-old filly died of apparent starvation on private land near Strawberry Lake. Submitted Photo.
Author: Dale Williams <-- Become my friend on Facebook! - Phone: 724-964-6773


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