Wednesday, September 18, 2013

“A Serious Crime”: State Officials Investigate Wild Horse Killings

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Source: By Ed Pearce of

“Probably the greatest photo op was when he took his band and he ran alongside the train for a full mile at the same pace as the train…”

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LYON COUNTY, CA – Some called him “Railroad Man” or “Flash.”
The crews and passengers on the V&T Railroad who saw the paint stallion leading his band near American Flat almost every trip called him “Damien.”
By whatever name he had many fans. In fact he starred in many tourists’ memories and videos of their trip to the Comstock.
“It was the highlight of their trip to Nevada,” says the railroad’s Vice President Thomas Gray.
“Probably the greatest photo op was when he took his band and he ran alongside the train for a full mile at the same pace as the train. It was wonderful.”
Today, the big stallion is a rotting carcass, not far from a Mound House neighborhood, shot and killed a couple of weeks ago.
Then yesterday another wild stallion, a bay called “Noman was found on a nearby hillside.
“He had been shot with arrows,” says Bob Conrad of the Department of Agriculture, “and he was near death when we arrived on scene. We had to euthanize him
Both incidents are now under investigation.
Time was, killing a wild horse would get you the legal equivalent of a slap on the hand.
No more.
It’s now a felony. The penalty is up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Conrad hopes the killers will be caught and he’s asking the public for help. The Ag Department is offering through Secret Witness, a $1,000 reward for information leading to arrest and prosecution.
The longtime crime fighting organization takes calls 24/7, paying cash rewards while keeping tipsters anonymous. Their number is (775) 322-4900.
Sharing in the blame with whoever is responsible for these killings may be some people living nearby who see them every day.
The horses are a common sight in Mound House and other rural neighborhoods. They come here because some people feed them and in time they have no fear of people.
That makes them a vulnerable, easy target for whoever is responsible for killings like these latest..
Feeding them, one local advocate told us, “Isn’t kindness. It’s a death sentence.”
It’s also against the law.

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