Last month, a grisly, horrific discovery was made — 21 horses that were grazing on a strip mine in Floyd County were shot and killed. Some of the horses were pregnant. All were undeserving of this treatment, of this kind of cruelty.
It’s was an act which shocked not just the area, but the nation, as national media outlets picked up the story, broadcasting our shame and highlighting an incident that is not the “norm.”
We, like many others, expected that an arrest, or at least charges, would come quickly, considering the magnitude of the incident, coupled with the offer of a reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction swelling to $23,000.
And yet, here we are nearly a month later and no charges have been filed. We’re still not sure who’s responsible for this cruel and heinous act.
That’s not the fault of animal advocates such as Dumas Rescue and law enforcement like the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, which are both attempting to find answers. Det. Kevin Shepherd reported last week that some progress has been made in the investigation.
While we don’t know the ins and outs of the investigation, we have to imagine one of the greatest hindrances is that information has not been received which gives police the “smoking gun” they need to prosecute.
And that’s what’s most disappointing.
Someone out there committed this act. Possibly, it was more than one person.
We would hope that seeing the images of what they’ve done and experiencing the impact it has had on others would invoke some level of empathy and sense of guilt that would drive them to turn themselves in or at least give the police information that could bring the case to closure.
Someone out there knows, without a doubt, who committed this act. However, we doubt that they’ve called in, since that person’s information would likely be the “case breaker.”
There’s more at stake here than just the solving of a crime.
The person or persons who did this must be dealt with by the criminal justice system, we must ensure that the public is protected and a message is sent that this is not acceptable.
Further, the courts must identify who’s responsible so that it can be assessed whether mental illness or some other issue led to this and whether that person or persons may be capable of further acts of cruelty, possibly against other people.
There’s a lot at stake.
We appreciate the days, weeks and hours that the sheriff’s department has dedicated to this. After all, the office has a lot going on — normal duties, drug interdiction, investigations of numerous crimes. But they understand the seriousness of this matter and are working to bring closure.
They need some help. If you have solid information, please let investigators know, whether you do so anonymously or for the reward. Give them what they need to break this case and bring justice in this situation, as well as to determine whether the community is any further danger.
By keeping quiet, the person who killed these horses and the person who witnessed it — they are condoning what happened; and, in doing that, they are also walking dangerously close to the next crime that this shooter or shooters decide to commit.
It’s time to speak up. It’s only right. It’s time.
Tips about the person or persons responsible may be provided to the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department at, (606) 949-2020, or, (606) 886-6171.