Officials search for suspects after 4 horses shot, killed; animal’s owner speaks

Posted at 7:05 AM, Jul 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-19 23:20:42-04

SYRACUSE, Utah — The Davis County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the deaths of four horses found shot in Syracuse, and the Humane Society of Utah is offering a $5,000 reward in the case.

The owners last saw their horses on July 12 before leaving town, said spokeswoman Susan Poulsen with the Davis County Sheriff’s Office. When they returned on July 15, the owners found the animals dead.

"There is no one more eager for anything more than I am right now. I want to see the person who did this. He better get some psychiatric help, because he's crazy," said Richard,  who owns of the farm and horses and asked FOX 13 News not to use his last name.

"They were good horses," he said. "They were all born and raised down there on the farm."

Richard said the horses were all found in a locked up pen in the back of the farm. The bullet wounds were in various locations, including the head and back area. The sheriff is not disclosing the type of gun used.

"I don't know how anyone can push four horses into a corral, lock the gate, herd them into the corner where they can't get out and then shoot them, face to face," Richard said.

Paulsen said it's no surprise no one reported hearing gunshots, because hunting is very prevalent in the area.

Paulsen also said other livestock owners in the area need to be extra cautious. Currently the Sheriff's Office has no suspects or leads.

"We don't know who did this or why, for what purpose and certainly at this point without any leads to go on, if they have horses they should be very aware," Paulsen said.

Those with information about the shootings are asked to call the Davis County Sheriff’s Office at 801-451-4150.

According to a press release from HSU, the $5,000 reward is for information that leads to the arrest and successful prosecution of those responsible for the deaths.

“This appears to be a deliberate and cruel act,” stated Gene Baierschmidt, Executive Director of the Humane Society of Utah, in the press release. “This kind of callous crime cannot go unchallenged. The Humane Society and our thousands of members want to see those responsible brought to justice. Itʼs our hope that this reward will generate information leading to an arrest, prosecution and a conviction.”

Officials with HSU encouraged those with information to call the number listed above to contact police, and they also asked anyone with information to contact John Fox, an HSU animal cruelty investigator, at 801-261-2919, or at 801-506-2408.