Rewards posted over the fatal shooting of six wild horses in central Oregon now stands at $US7000.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is offering up to $US5000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shooting of the horses in the Big Prairie Summit region of the Ochoco National Forest in Crook County.
The reward is in addition to the $US2000 being offered by the Central Oregon Wild Horse Coalition, a nonprofit group established to protect and preserve the wild horses of central Oregon.
The US Forest Service reported that on or about October 13, hunters discovered two wild horses who had been shot and killed in the Big Prairie Summit region in the eastern portion of the Ochoco National Forest.
They also found a third horse, a juvenile, badly injured from gunshot wounds. The third horse was euthanized.
On October 18, Forest Service investigators combed the scene and found three more horses shot and killed.
The HSUS noted that the cases of six wild horses fatally shot in the spring of 2011 remain unsolved, despite an outstanding $US4000 reward offer.
“Wild horses roaming free on our public lands are a national treasure to be cherished and protected,” said Scott Beckstead, senior Oregon state director for the HSUS.
“Shooting these majestic creatures is not only an act of depraved cruelty, but also a serious criminal offense. We applaud the US Forest Service and the Crook County Sheriff for taking these crimes seriously, and for their dedication in working to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Captain Dan Smith, of the US Forest Service, (541) 383-5798; or the Crook County Sheriff’s Office on (541) 447-6398.