Horse News

Three Wild Horses Shot Dead in Oregon; Foal Orphaned

Story by Kim Tobin and Barney Lerten, KTVZ.COM

Human Cruelty Knows No Bounds

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PRINEVILLE, Ore. — Authorities said Thursday they are looking for tips from the public in hopes of finding whoever shot and killed three wild horses east of Prineville – one of which was pregnant and accompanied by her year-old foal, which was found unhurt.

Crook County sheriff’s Deputy Brian Bottoms made the grisly discovery around 2 p.m. Monday while on patrol in the Ochoco National Forest about 18 miles east of Prineville, said Det Sgt. Travis Jurgens.

“It was definitely an intentional shooting of the three horses,” said Jurgens. “We have undetermined number of rounds that were fired at this point.”

Bottoms found the dead horse along a spur road off Forest Road 150 in the Douthit Creek drainage, near the Ochoco Ranger Station, Jurgens said. Further investigation led to the two others, for a total of two stallions and a mare.

The mare appears to have been pregnant and had a foal about 1 years old with her at the time, nudging her, trying to get her back on her feet when the deputy arrived, Jurgens said. The foal was unhurt but left abandoned by the mare’s death.“It was determined that all three horses had been shot and killed with a firearm for no apparent reason,” Jurgens said, adding that Bottoms was able to obtain evidence by having come upon the “fairly recent” shooting scene.

Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s office at (541) 447-6398 or contact the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-876-TIPS. You can remain anonymous and you may be eligible for a cash reward.

As a member of the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, Krista Lee hung posters around Prineville, asking for the public’s help in finding whoever shot the horses..

“I think that it’s just very shocking,” said Lee. “There are so many people that love and care about these horses — it’s like having someone come into your own home and kill a family member.”

What makes Lee even angrier is that this is not the first time an attack like this has happened. Since 2002, Lee said there have been similar attacks in the area.

“Anywhere from one to three horses being killed per time,” said Lee. “And they’re still doing it.”

Lee said she and members of the coalition are working hard to get the word out to the public, in hope of finding whoever is responsible for hurting the innocent animals.

“If there’s a horse you want to ride to Hell and back on, these are the horses you want to do it with,” said Lee. “So to remove them or harm them is beyond possible thinking.”

The Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition also was offering a reward of $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever shot and mutilated the horses.

13 replies »

  1. Despicable !!!!! Please network this to Oregonians and share this – maybe this creep or creeps will be found thru gossip – I can only hope so. Some adrenalin junkie John Wayne wanna be, making it a sport to do such heinous crimes – please let them be found and prosecute to the full extent of law !


  2. That’s my home town and community. This needless act of murder is so sick. No doubt the guys who did this are either former or current BLM trained and authorized horse-killers.
    Interesting that the story brings out that it is a Federal offense to kill Wild Horses. I sure wish BLM would be brought to justice for the thousands of horses and burros they have brutalized and killed.
    Food for thought: Remember when, in the “old West” a man could be justifiably shot or hung for stealing or hurting someone’s horse. The BLM does not “own” the wild horses and burros, and even if they did.. the DON’T have the right to harm and kill them. Since they live and belong on PUBLIC LANDS, doesn’t that mean that WE THE PEOPLE own them – if anyone “owns” them? So We-The-People should have the say, and have the power to file charges against any and all who are harming and killing the horses and burros. Does that make sense??


    • No offence Sue, but “No doubt the guys who did this are either former or current BLM trained and authorized horse-killers.” … Don’t you think that’s a bit of a leap? There have been incidents similar in nature to this – although usually with domesticated horses on someones property – across Canada and the US… and it usually is people who are NOT affiliated with horses in any way.

      Whether it’s kids out getting their kicks, or some sicko who just likes to kill animals, they’re rarely currently or previously involved professionally with horses (aside from maybe living in rural communities).

      I think comments like yours make people who do care about these issues come off as as nut jobs. IMHO


  3. Whomever did this to those Horses , is extremely sick, and needs mental help immediately, anyone would would do this to innocent horses, needs to be brought to Justice, this is an act of a mentally deranged person, OmG , if this person or persons would commit this act to innocent horses, what is this sick person capable of?????? I am afraid very afraid, The arrest and conviction is imminent for this crime, and should be priority 1…………. This crime cannot and should not be ever be tolerated in a civilized society……………


  4. The foal was abandoned? The mother was dead and the foal was by her. If people do not assist the foal it will be abandoned. I hope there are other horses close? The foal could join another family… otherwise people do need to intervene… mar


    • Hey Mar,
      There are indeed other horses nearby. It is my hope that the small band we spotted a quarter mile from the dead horses takes in the yearling. I am very hopeful that we humans do not meddle anymore than necessary and that the yearling gets every chance to remain in the wild. The herd these horses come from is very very small – fewer than 60 left. To take the yearling too would add to the ten horses already removed from the gene pool in the last few months. When we had more than 70 horses, Dr. Gus Cochran told us that it wasn’t too late for the Ochoco Horses but that we didn’t dare lose any more. Unfortunately, our local agency didn’t follow that advice, so we’re still struggling for genetic stability. This yearling is important on multiple levels.


  5. Justice would justifiable be served in that all future earthquakes would occur in well corrupted places, which in turn would swallow up, close over and send to the depths of an abyss; any murdering warp-minded individual that intentionally causes any level of harm to any horse…If this outright thuggery today were taking place just over a hundred years ago there would be bodies hanging from ropes swinging from trees scattered all over the western landscapes…


  6. This was s despicable act. Is someone going to make sure this foal is taken care of? We, the American citizens, own all the wild horses. Why can’t we, the American citizens, bring charges against whomever does this, in addtion to the BLM for their heinous acts on our wild horses. We, as owners of the Amerian wild horses and burros, should be able to stop anyone and anything that harms them, including the BLM. Can someone please help that foal. If I was in the area, I would help by bringing it to the sanctuary where I help out.


  7. BLM No Stranger to Wild Horse Cruelty Issues in fact BLM is the main one who abuses and kills wild horses and burros. A BLM Wild Horse Wrangler Accused of Neglecting Own Mustangs and starved the horses he got ahold of.FIRE BLM – PROTECT WILD HORSES & BURROS FROM BLM NOW !
    We support all Madeleine Pickens rescue of WILD HORSES !
    The BLM is responsible for Outrageous Cruelty to Americas Beloved Wild Horses & Burros.
    Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, In Defense of Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, & more tell Obama/BLM to STOP CRUEL ILLEGAL REMOVAL & STAMPEDES Now & PROTECT Wild Horses & Burros from the Corrupt, Cruel and Cowardly BLM. Get the MILLIONS & MILLIONS of Welfare Cattle off our public lands and protect AMERICAN LAND, WATER AND WILDLIFE from BLM & MILLIONS OF WELFARE CATTLE. Wild Horses & Burros must be protected from BLM who are CORRUPT, CRUEL, COWARDLY LIARS who do everything they can to wipe out wild horses & burros.
    And to serve Rolex Welfare Cattle ranchers and to help them stuff MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS of their privately owned Welfare Cattle and Sheep on our public lands. These MILLIONS & MILLIONS of WELFARE CATTLE DESTROY our land, water, wildlife & cost TAXPAYERS BILLION per year. The board members BLM appoints serve Welfare Cattle ranchers interests only & BLM also illegally ignores the massive public opposition to their illegal and cruel wipe out of wild horses and burros. Having BLM in charge of wild horses is like putting Michael Vic in charge of the nations dogs ! In the last illegal stampede BLM ran down pregnant horses and many horses died and over 20 aborted their foals from BLM’s HORRIFIC CRUELTY.


  8. Beyond finding the creeps that did this, I think we need to take a long hard look at the words “federally protected”. Does any one have a clue what that means? I think I know what it should mean–but those words do not work out well for the horses. Maybe they should be an endangered species–but then animals in that category get removed from the list–and then are endangered all over again. The BLM sign says to report any killing/injury/removal of wild horses to them–but they are exempt- and continue killing/injuring/removing federally protected horses. We are living in a confusing time. I hope the foal finds a herd and some freedom–for a while.


  9. When they catch these Mother F*ckers I hope someone puts a bullet between their eyes. That is the only satisfaction I see. I hate people who hurt animals, especially our wild horses and out wolves………….Just Pisses me off……….


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