Reward Offered, Help From Public needed in Salt River Wild Horse Shooting

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Phoenix, AZ (October 24, 2016) ..The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group (SRWHMG) and the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who shot three Salt River wild horses in the Tonto National Forest on Friday. At least one horse – a beautiful 6-month foal named Kai – died, and two other young members of the same band have been observed alive, but are wounded and may need to be rescued by the SRWHMG.

“The coward who shot these innocent and beloved horses deserves to be brought to justice,” said Simone Netherlands, President of the SRWHMG. “We’re asking the public for help to raise funds to increase the reward and to assist with the rescue of horses who have been shot, should that become necessary.”

Anyone with information about the shooting should call the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group at 480-868-9301 or the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office (MCSO) at 602-876-1011. Members of the public who are interested in contributing to increase the reward fund and underwrite costs to rescue the wounded horses, should that become necessary, can donate here.

The following information was released by MCSO, which immediately sent their animal crime unit to investigate:

On Friday, Oct. 21 at about 6 p.m., a witness saw a man wearing black shorts and a dark green shirt shooting three Salt River wild horses. The suspect was not caught and remains at large. The witness saw one of the horses thrashing about in the water, drowning in the river, and observed two other horses get hit with rounds from a rifle or shotgun.

The suspect chased after the horses as they fled. Two other individuals are believed to have been with the person who shot the horses.

On Saturday, Oct. 22 the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group found the beautiful Salt River wild foal, born in April 2016, dead with gunshot wounds to the side of his neck and head. The group also located two horses from the same band injured with bullet wounds, who are still alive and may need to be rescued by the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. 

Donations to the Go Fund Me page will be used to increase the amount of the reward to ensure that the shooter of these innocent horses is brought to justice, and also to rescue the surviving wounded horses to provide veterinarian care, if necessary.

The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group is an Arizona non-profit organization established to protect, monitor and scientifically study the Salt River Wild Horses. The SRWHMG has been spearheading the effort to secure lasting protections for this iconic and beloved wild horse herd roaming in the Tonto National Forest.

The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) is dedicated to defending America’s wild horses and burros to protect their freedom, preserve their habitat, and promote humane standards of treatment. AWHPC’s mission is endorsed by a coalition of more than 60 horse advocacy, public interest, and conservation organizations.

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