Authorities Still Investigating Oregon Wild Horse Shootings

Authorities Still Investigating Oregon Wild Horse Shootings

Oregon law enforcement authorities are still investigating the shootings of six central Oregon wild horses that occurred last year.

Photo: Vince Patton/OPB

Oregon law enforcement authorities are still investigating the shootings of six central Oregon wild horses that occurred last year

Capt. Dan Smith, of the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations, said officers responded to a call about two injured horses discovered in the Ochoco National Forest near Pineville, Ore., last October. Once on the scene, officers found a third injured horse, Smith said. The horses—two adults and one juvenile—had been shot, he said.

Just days later, another three horses were discovered by federal officers, all of which had been shot to death, Smith said.

The six horses belonged to the Big Summit wild horse herd and are protected by the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971, Smith said. The Bureau of Land Management is also involved in the investigation, he said.

Shortly after the shootings, the Humane Society of the United States and the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, a nonprofit group established to protect and preserve central Oregon's wild horses, announced their offer of a $7,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible. Despite the reward, leads in the case have been scant, Smith said.

“We got some calls shortly after the shootings happened, but we really don't have any solid leads,” he said.

Smith encouraged anyone with any information about the case to call him about the case: “Sometimes even a rumor can be helpful. I promise we will follow up on it.”

Anyone with information about the wild horse shootings, should call 541/383-5798.

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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