$11,000 Reward Offered in Arizona Wild Horse Deaths
A coalition of animal welfare groups and Arizona residents is offering a reward of $11,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting deaths of at least seven wild horses in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, near Pinedale, AZ.
Bodies of six of the horses were discovered in January. A seventh horse was observed limping with a wound in his side and may have been a victim of the same shootings. Last August, a young wild chestnut stallion was found dead in the Pinedale area, having been shot in the head.
The reward is being offered by the Animal Defense Council, the Animal Welfare Institute, In Defense of Animals, the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Wild Burros, The Humane Society of the United States, and Tucson horse advocates Julianne French and Carol Grubb.
A representative of these groups has contacted the Arizona Department of Agriculture and is working with that agency to solve the crime.
Killing these horses may be a violation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, in which case each violation is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and one year in prison. Shooting a horse and causing that horse to suffer also is a criminal act under the Arizona Cruelty to Animals law. Persons convicted of animal cruelty can be sentenced to jail time.
Anyone with information about those responsible for this crime should call attorney Anthony Merrill at 602-364-7174 or submit information by email to: [email protected]
Anyone with information also can contact the Arizona Department of Agriculture at 800-294-0305 (select option 3).
Concerned citizens who would like to contribute to the reward fund should send checks to the Animal Welfare Institute/Heber Wild Horse Reward Fund, P.O. Box 3650, Washington, DC 20027.
The Animal Welfare Institute, In Defense of Animals, and the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Wild Burros, are plaintiffs in an ongoing civil lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service to protect the Heber wild horses. Merrill is lead attorney in the case.