These incidents began on December 16 when a resident called 911. Some of his horses broke out of a fenced area and he later found them shot to death.
Someone has been shooting horses to death in Kentucky and no arrests have been made so far. A sheriff's sergeant and horse rescue group said that the total number of horses shot dead has risen to 20 after six more were found shot and killed in Floyd County, Kentucky, on Monday, according to CNN. The dead horses range from foals to full-grown horses, and there were some that were pregnant. All the horses appear to have died from gunshot wounds, Floyd County sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Shepherd said. These 20 horses have been found throughout a former strip mining area.
An animal rescue group named Dumas Rescue is now leading the search for more of the free-roaming herd that occupies the area, its president, Tonya Conn, said. Conn added that since the area is a bit remote, it makes the search difficult, but they have managed to search about 4,000 acres a day, covering 80% of the area since December 16. She also mentioned that the search is expected to end this Saturday.
Since the bodies were found to be scattered when the searches set out, Conn believes that when the shooting began, the horses scattered, but the shooter tracked them down and killed them. Conn also added that since they have been unable to move the bodies of most of the dead horses, they have been helping conduct field necropsies. In October, the herd is said to have had around 35 horses, according to Conn.
Most of these horses in the herds were those that had been abandoned by their owners and were very approachable to humans. Rescue volunteers rescued seven horses before the shooting had started and they now believe six of them are left. Dumas Rescue is working tirelessly to rescue them, but the rain-saturated ground is making the rescue operation on the old mining access roads treacherous and quite hard, Conn said.
Sgt. Shepherd added that the deaths are under investigation. Officials in Lexington, Kentucky began conducting a necropsy on a foal Monday and are now hoping to find bullet fragments, he said, appending it appears a small-caliber weapon was used to shoot the horses. The incidents of the horses being shot began on December 16 when a resident called 911. Some of his horses broke out of a fenced area and he later found them shot to death.
Dumas Rescue is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible. Since the organization was formed in 1999, this is the largest use of its resources. Five volunteers make up Dumas Rescue and they normally foster rescue animals in their own homes before they're transported to no-kill shelters. Now, Dumas Rescue is trying to raise money for these stallions. If you have any information about the killings, please call +60 6-339 8090.