Live

Watch CBSN Live

2 horses rescued after 20 mysteriously killed in Kentucky

Animal rescue workers have saved a pregnant mare and her colt from an abandoned strip mine site in eastern Kentucky where 20 horses were recently found fatally shot over a period of six days. The two rescued horses have been taken to a local equine humane society. 

The two horses were rescued Friday night by Dumas Rescue and law enforcement. Lori Redmon, the humane society's president and CEO, told The Associated Press the colt is doing fine but the mare is thin and stressed.

"She was sweating and her breathing was labored, so our primary concern was getting her stabilized and relaxed," she said. "She is heavy in foal and we didn't want her to go into premature labor due to stress."

Dumas Rescue posted a video of the two horse on Facebook, saying, "I feel like we have closed a door on their past and Kentucky Humane Society Equine CARE has opened a door to their future."

Yesterday Tonya Ratliff Conn Kyle Griffith Debbie Hinkle J.t. Layne and detective Kevin Shepherd safely removed 2 of the survivors of the horrific shooting. I feel like we have closed a door on their past and Kentucky Humane Society Equine CARE has opened a door to their future.

Posted by Dumas Rescue on Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Humane Society also posted a video of the horses, asking for help naming the equines. They also noted the horses are undergoing medical and behavioral issue treatment. 

"This heinous act is unthinkable to everyone who cares about companion animals," they wrote. "... We are sickened by this act of cruelty, but are grateful that these two horses are now safe."

Help Us Name These Survivors

HELP US NAME THESE SURVIVORS: Friday night we took in a pregnant mare and weanling colt who are survivors of a violent act: 20 horses from a free-roaming herd were gunned down and killed in Floyd County. This heinous act is unthinkable to everyone who cares about companion animals. There is a $20,000+ reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s). We are sickened by this act of cruelty, but are grateful that these two horses are now safe. We are looking for suggestions on what to name them. Please share your ideas. And if you want to help, donations are gratefully accepted via Facebook or at our website, www.kyhumane.org/equine-donate. We rescue, rehabilitate and find homes for Kentucky's horses in crisis.

Posted by Kentucky Humane Society Equine CARE on Monday, December 30, 2019

The fatally shot horses were found along U.S. 23 near the border between Pike and Floyd counties in eastern Kentucky. Of the 20 horses found dead over the last week, two were pregnant and five belonged to nearby residents. The others are believed to have been wild horses that frequented the abandoned strip mine. Law enforcement believes they were hunted with a low-caliber rifle. 

"This is very inhumane and it's a very cruel act of somebody who just apparently had nothing else to do, or whatever. Just to go back on a strip job and shoot down horses who were, one of them obviously was feeding, had grass in its mouth," Sheriff John Hunt said. "It looked like a battlefield for just horses."

Officials are currently offering a reward of over $20,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for killing the horses. 

View CBS News In