On Saturday, October 19, KATU News reported that three wild horses were fatally shot east of Prineville, Oregon. Authorities in Oregon state that they found the horses in the same area where three other animals were found last weekend, leaving a recent death toll of six wild horses.
According to Crook County Sheriff's Sergeant Travis Jurgens, deputies accompanying law enforcement from the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management on Friday, Oct. 18 found the additional dead horses. No details on these animals have been released yet.
Hunters reported finding the first three deceased horses, who were killed in the Ochoco National Forest about 30 miles east of Prineville. Forest Service officers went to the area last Sunday, where they found two adult horses and an adolescent.
According to Forest Service Captain Dan Smith, one of the initial horses was found still alive - although barely, and with mortal injuries. An officer euthanized the ailing horse.
These incidents of animal cruelty are not isolated. During the spring of 2011, six other wild horses were fatally shot in the Ochocos. Despite a reward of $4,000, no arrests have been made in that case yet.
In March 2011, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) offered a reward of $2500 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the person or persons responsible for killing three wild horses in the Ochocos.
According to the HSUS, Crook County deputies discovered three dead wild horses in March 2011, including two stallions and a pregnant mare, during patrol at Ochoco National Forest, 18 miles east of Prineville. A yearling foal who was unhurt was also found at the scene. He was nuzzling his mother in an apparent attempt to revive her. Deputies believe that the horses were intentionally shot.
According to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, "It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands."
Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.
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