Wisconsin Therapy Horses Discovered Drowned

Two therapy horses believed to be stolen from their Wisconsin pasture in March have been found drowned in a nearby river.

In March, Barbara Knopf, owner and operator of Veteran Equine Trail Services, contacted the Sauk County, Wisconsin, Sheriff’s Department to report that a 3-year-old Morgan horse and a Morgan yearling filly were missing from their pasture in a remote area of the state. Both horses were in training to be used in equine-assisted therapy programs for disabled veterans and children with a variety of conditions. The sheriff's department investigated the case as a theft.

On May 8, a boater reported seeing the carcasses of two horses on the Baraboo River just west of Lavalle, Wisconsin, according to a written statement from Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister. Meister's statement said sheriff’s deputies and the boater located the carcass of one horse that day and, on May 9, deputies found the remains of the second horse in the river. 

“The investigation has never generated any evidence of criminal activity,” Meister's statement said. “At this time it is believed that the horses drowned in the river by accident.”

Knopf said that finding the horses provided a sense of closure, but there is at least one question regarding the animals still remains: “Why did they go to the water's edge? We'll never know. Still we're grateful to the whole community that helped us recover them and put them in a peaceful, respectful resting place.”

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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