Fears over five horses stolen from Florida pasture

September 14, 2009

Shilo is missing, along with a palomino gelding named Sundance. More information.

The theft of five horses from a Florida property has raised fears for the animals over the ongoing series of horse butcherings, the latest last week.

The five horses were removed from a Hillsborough County property in a well-organised operation witnessed by a bystander.

The thieves pulled up a fence post, cut the fence and released two horses of their own to help them corral eight others that were grazing in the pasture.

The thieves then drove through the fence, loaded the horses, came back through and re-tied the fence to make it look like the fence was still up.

The witness who lived nearby watched the scene unfold, unaware the animals were being stolen.

The incident took place in the 7400 block of Williams Road on September 5, 2009.

Two men, one described as tall and slender, the other chunky with a goatee, worked with a heavyset blond woman as they talked with the neighbour.

The thieves were able to drive away with five horses, two of which are listed with Stolen Horse International, also known as NetPosse.com, in a truck described as a new model maroon Dodge Dully. It was pulling a green combo stock trailer which may have a white canvas top.

Sundance, a 1300-pound palomino gelding, and Shilo, a brown Paintaloosa mare with four white stockings are owned by a family in Lutz, Florida. Shilo also has white in the front half of her body and a blanket with small brown spots on her quarters.

A customised webpage and flyer featuring Shilo and Sundance is available at www.netposse.com. The non-profit website urges tack and feed stores, auction barns, restaurants, and convenience stores to display it.

Authorities also say a dark brown Shetland pony stallion with a flaxen mane and tail, a paint mare with white with sorrel shields and a dark bay mare with an injured hip and a limp were also stolen.

In a note sent to Stolen Horse International, an unconfirmed tip stated that the truck, trailer and horses were seen travelling in the Miami-Dade area.

Police have yet to make arrests over the slaughtering of at least 18 horses since January, centred on the Miami-Dade area.

Stolen Horse International was founded in 1998 by Debi Metcalfe after she and her family spent nearly a year trying to locate their paint mare, Idaho. She was recovered when a flyer posted at a convenience store resulted in the tip they needed.