At Least 25 Horses in Arizona Shot Dead, 25 Others Missing in 'Hateful Massacre' Advocates Fear Will Continue

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A $35,000 reward is on the table for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the grisly deaths of at least 25 horses found fatally shot in Arizona.

At least 25 horses have been found shot to death in Alpine, Arizona, and 25 other horses are currently missing from the area, according to advocates. Now a reward for information leading to the arrest of who is behind the grisly killings and disappearances has been raised to $35,000, according to 12 News.

The horses were found dead within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, which stretch over 2 million acres across central and eastern Arizona, the Washington Post reported.

The horses were found with bullet wounds in their faces, necks, abdomens and between their eyes, according to Metro.

“These are techniques that hunters use,” Simone Netherlands, President of the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, told Washington Post. “It’s really an absolute massacre out in the forest. It’s absolutely horrible. There’s just whole families laying there together.”

The killings have been going on for over a week. Netherlands said she believes the horses that are missing are dead as well, 12 News reported.

“This hateful massacre is incomprehensible and the killer or killers must be brought to full justice,” Netherlands told Metro.

Last week, a GoFundMe campaign was launched in effort to raise money for arrest information.

“This GoFundMe fundraiser is for the public to be able to ADD to the current reward of $25,000 offered/pledged by 3 organizations (AWHC, Animal Wellness Action Group & SRWHMG). The reward is for the "tip" that leads to the arrest and conviction of the Apline serial wild horse killer(s),” the GoFundMe page read.

After horses were first found dead on Oct. 7, the Alpine and Springerville Ranger Districts of the U.S. Forest Service announced they were investigating the horse killings. But local activists like Netherlands are still concerned about the future of herds in the area.

Wild horses are protected by the Wild Horses and Burro Act of 1971. However, if the horses are to be considered feral, they are not protected under federal or state law. There has been a long-standing argument over whether the horses in the area should be deemed wild or feral. 

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