Horse News

‘A very cruel act’: At least 15 horses were shot and killed in Kentucky, police say

by , as published on the Louisville Courier Journal

Authorities are investigating after at least 15 horses were found fatally shot Tuesday near a strip mining site in Eastern Kentucky.

The horses were found along a strip job near the Pike and Floyd County line by U.S. Highway 23, WYMT reported.

Some of the horses were only one year old or younger, and some were pregnant, according to authorities, who added that it appears the horses were shot with a low-caliber rifle.

“This is very inhumane, and it’s a very cruel act of somebody who just apparently had nothing else to do or whatever, just to go back on a strip job and shoot down horses who were, one of them obviously was feeding, had grass in its mouth,” Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt told WYMT. “It looked like a battlefield for just horses.”

Hunt added that it was one of the worst cases of animal cruelty he has ever seen.

At the minimum, the perpetrator of the violent act will likely face animal cruelty charges, according to authorities.

Hunt said authorities spent most of Tuesday morning trying to reach the strip mine location to confirm the number of horses that have been killed, but rainy weather made travel difficult up the hillside, according to the Floyd County Chronicle & Times.

Hunt also said most of the horses “were scattered out.”

Hunt posted an update Thursday morning on the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page stating that deputies along with members of Dumas Rescue, a local animal rescue group, and veterinarians “will go back today to gather more evidence and information that will hopefully assist in the investigation.”

“The site where these horses are located can only be accessed by ATV/UTV type vehicles so we are having to coordinate with individuals to help transport us back to the location,” Hunt said. “We will be announcing soon the total reward amount as it has increased substantially. It has been heartbreaking seeing these beautiful horses killed but it had equally been heartwarming to see all the concerns and see all the support in assisting in the investigation and to give the living horses a good home. Thank you to everyone.”

An initial $500 reward for information on the incident has grown to $15,000, with numerous animal rescue and welfare organizations along with individual donors contributing funds in hopes of finding answers.

Dumas Rescue, one of the local animal rescue groups helping out the sheriff’s office in the case, posted on its Facebook page Wednesday night that a PayPal fund has been set up for people who would like to help raise money for the reward.

“The response across the country to this horrific situation has restored our faith in humanity and given Dumas volunteers the strength to keeping fighting to find the perpetrators,” the group wrote in its post. “… If no arrest is made in 6 months the reward fund will be used to help other strip mine horses in need. We provide hay and salt all winter long to abandoned mine horses.”

The Kentucky Humane Society said in a statement that donors have helped contribute $2,500 to reward.

“The Kentucky Humane Society Equine CARE Program rescues, assists and advocates for horses in Eastern Kentucky, and we are sickened and outraged about what has happened,” said KHS President and CEO Lori Redmon.

In October, the humane society said it took in an “extremely emaciated horse” from the same herd that was attacked this week.

“Willow, as KHS named her, is recovering at Willow Hope Farm in Simpsonville, KHS’ new equine farm,” the humane socie said. “The farm was named in her honor.”

Dumas Rescue also posted an update Thursday that said a veterinarian who performed a field necropsy confirmed that gunshots officially caused the death of the horses.

Anyone with information about the fatal incident is asked to contact the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office at 606-886-6171.

9 replies »

  1. As horrific as this act is – its good to hear of law enforcement caring & working with rescue groups. Hope they catch this sob.


  2. What does Mitch Mcconnell say since this is in his state? Can we expect to hear some national outrage over the killing of innocents, especially this time of year? Since animal cruelty is now a national crime, can we expect it to be applied here in full force? If this random killing was done to humans we’d call it terrorism, but this will probably be swept aside as usual and nobody ever prosecuted.

    What I want for Christmas: this sick bastard or bastards behind bars!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. THIS is not a ‘one-off’ or first timer…’s happened LOTS! Here from an insider….she lives in this area!
    Tania Creamer (she can be found on facebook)


    • Tinia Creamer is the founder of Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue…they have a website, this video is quite likely on there as well, if you are not on facebook.


  4. The PayPal link doesnt work. Please re-post with the actual link. I cant access Facebook because I do not have an account there. Just post the direct link to the PayPal based donation site. Thanks.


  5. This is becoming an epidemic!!!! People are shooting horses all over the country!!!! Is there any government agency or police department looking into this, Has any one been arrested????? This is Ho Hum!!!! Years ago what happened to people who stole or killed Horses? They were Hung, Bring it back, they are lowlifes who think the Horses are pests. They belong to the people of this country and it is time we revolt and make sure these people go to jail!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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