PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (AP) — A pregnant mare and her yearling colt have been rescued from a strip mine site in Kentucky where 20 horses were found fatally shot recently.
The two horses were collected by Dumas Rescue on Friday and taken to the Kentucky Humane Society, news outlets reported.
The colt was doing fine, said Lori Redmon, the humane society’s president and CEO. But she added that the mare was very thin and showing signs of stress.
“She was sweating, and her breathing was labored so our primary concern was getting her stabilized and relaxed,” Redmon said. "She is heavy in foal and we didn’t want her to go into premature labor due to stress.”
The horses are being treated for medical and behavioral issues on a farm, the Kentucky Humane Society Equine CARE said in a Facebook post.
In a six-day span, 20 horses were found dead along U.S. 23 near the Floyd-Pike County line in the eastern part of the state. Tonya Conn with Dumas Rescue has said that the dead horses were scattered over a large area and it appears they had been hunted.
“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,” said Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt. “It looked like a battlefield for just horses.”
Authorities said some of the horses were young and some were pregnant.
There is a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for shooting the horses.
Prestonburg is about 115 miles (185 kilometers) east of Lexington in an Appalachian area near the state lines of Virginia and West Virginia.