Horse News

Heber Wild Horse Update: Angel Makes 12 Dead

Source: Citizens Against Equine Slaughter

Forest Service told one of our ground crew members that the injury to the horse we had observed was, in fact, a gunshot wound…”

Today, while our crews were on the ground early in the day 2 more of the Heber wild horses, were found dead.

Our ground crew has been taking shifts day and night to watch horses, some who are injured, one in particular with a serious wound, but we could not tell if she would recover, or if she had been shot. Today that mare, a beautiful palomino named Angel by our volunteer crew went down.

As the Forest Service personnel were leaving the scene of the other 2 horses where a veterinarian had performed necropsies, our crew flagged them down to have the veterinarian look at this downed horse we had been watching for several days.

At first Ranger Lopez said they didn’t have time to look at another horse and was insistent on leaving the area. The veterinarian traveling with them said it would only take a moment. So they evaluated the mare and determined she had to be euthanized.

Richard Madril of the Forest Service told one of our ground crew members that the injury to the horse we had observed was, in fact, a gunshot wound.

As we are looking at photos and having some of our own experts assist with their opinions we believe all these horses we have been finding the past 10 days were shot in one killing spree that happened late on January 21st.

As of this report, the national office for CAES has received 35 tips on the activities in the forest and the people we believe to be involved in the killings, and other illegal activities in the forest concerning the herd. We are still encouraging the Forest Service Ranger to call the investigative reporter who works for ActivateNow News, and set-up a tip line at the Citizens Against Equine Slaughter national office, so far he has not made contact to find out what we might know to assist his investigation.

The reward fund for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) has grown to over $5,200 dollars and CAES has a goal to double that and find these killers. If you have any information please call 541.315.6650 And if you want to contribute to the reward fund you can use the donate button on the side of this page, or go to our Citizens Against Equine Slaughter on Facebook and look at the top post where there is a donate button.

Through this tragedy, we have had an outpouring of anger and sadness from the Heber and surrounding communities. People are afraid this will go beyond the killing of animals, and they are afraid of these men. But…you are still speaking out, still standing up and we are proud of you for that and will stay in this battle with you until we have Justice for the Heber Herd.

12 replies »

  1. Horse carcasses pile up in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests
    By Laura Singleton The Independent

    The Independent was able to confirm with Forest Service authorities that a Forest Service Deputy and a veterinary expert are currently on scene actively investigating.

    More information will be provided as it becomes available.

    Heber Wild Horses and CAES have requested updates about the status of the ongoing investigation(s) since last year. They have also asked if necropsies would be performed on the horses to determine the cause of death. They have also asked for bullets to be removed from the horses in an effort to preserve evidence and to apprehend whomever may be killing the federally protected animals.

    Answers have yet to be provided.

    Requests for information from state and local media, area residents and the horse advocate groups about when, or if, necropsies will be performed on the dead horses remain unanswered by the Forest Service.
    Boots-on-the-ground members of Heber Wild Horses have also gathered pages and pages of information documenting what they feel is “suspicious activity” in the forest prior to finding the dead horses.

    They say they have attempted to share this information with the Forest Service to no avail. “We have over three dozen tips that have been called into us but the Forest Service has not taken them,” explains Cecema-Hogsett. “I was told by the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office that the Forest Service was the lead agency and I needed to contact them regarding the tips. When I call Forest Service dispatch, I am told that they will ‘pass it on’ but I have yet to receive a call from Investigator John Lopez or any other member of the Forest Service



    Who is killing Heber wild horses? Filly orphaned after 7 horses shot, killed
    Jan 31, 2019

    By: Fay Fredricks

    In a community that relies on tourism dollars, fear of what, or who, is in the area doing this is bad for business.

    “We have people come from Germany, Italy, France. We have people who come from Romania,” Hutchison says.


  3. At least (!) there is more publicity – possibly will create more of a push for SOMEONE to DO something about this before more horses are killed. Seems to me people in the community might have a pretty good idea about who it is thats responsible. This kind of hatred towards wild horses would be pretty obvious to see.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Four dead horses create many more questions
    By Laura Singleton The Independent

    CAES is urging the public to contact the Navajo County Sheriff’s office WeTIP Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME. They may also be contacted directly at 541-315-6650.

    In addition to the reward being offered, Heber Wild Horses and Citizens Against Equine Slaughter, (CAES), are not waiting around for the results of a Forest Service investigation, which they distrust.

    “I’m calling the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” assures Crawford.

    The distrust they express relates to the apparently unresolved October, 2018, death of two stallions in the Heber Wild Horse Territory. That situation is similar in nature because horse advocates and some members of the public believe the stallions were purposely shot. This case is still under investigation by the Forest Service.
    Tuesday’s reported deaths of the black stallion and bay mare appear uncomfortably similar to last October’s deaths.

    “We were hoping a veterinarian would come find the projectiles in the dead horses but we’ve been through this before,” stated Crawford on Tuesday evening. “We still don’t have information from the stallions killed last fall.”
    Evidence just seems to disappear up here,” says Sanchez, referring to the stallions being buried after numerous requests for someone to investigate the bodies.
    “We are contacting Congressman Raul Grijalva and the Attorney General on behalf of Heber Wild Horses,” says Val Cecema-Hogsett of CAES.

    Killing wild horses is a violation of US 95-192, the federal law governing protection of wild horses. The Heber Wild Horses are considered protected under this Act.


    • Wild horses are also legally considered wildlife, so you should also involve wildlife officials if the USFS is failing in their legitimate investigation responsibilities. Consider what happens if someone takes too many fish, or kills a few extra deer or elk, in or out of season! Nothing less can be sufficient here.


  5. I’ve posted comments on some of these articles. My comments just disappear into the spam box..I guess.
    I have found that it’s a good idea to also contact either the reporter or the editor..or both


  6. This comment is damning and indefensible from a paid public servant:

    “At first Ranger Lopez said they didn’t have time to look at another horse and was insistent on leaving the area.”

    It is unimaginable that they would say the same for a poached deer or elk in the national forest. I worked for the USFS and was proud to do so, but that seems to have been in the dark ages when public service actually meant what it says.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am wondering if Robin Crawford (or anyone concerned) actually followed through on contacting the FBI ??? Public safety is really an issue with a heinous crime of this magnitude!


  8. In light of the recent Salt River Mgmnt. Group shootings, this has to be a related chain of events that has to addressed asap by the highest possible authority.
    It appears that the local law enforcement and USFS is not taking this seriously enough. What next then? More death?

    Liked by 1 person

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