Saturday, June 4, 2011

Humane Society offers reward for information in Clarke County horse mutilation case

McVay, Alabama -- The Humane Society of the United States announced today that it is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the conviction of the person responsible for the mutilation of 5 horses in Clarke County.
The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office said the incident occurred in the community of McVay, which is about 12 miles southeast of Grove Hill.  
Ja-mestican Parham, who teaches equine science at a local high school, said he discovered the attack on Wednesday to an American Saddlebred and 4 Tennessee Walking Horses. He said it probably occurred Tuesday night.
“I have no idea why anybody would do this,” said Parham, whose house is about a mile away from the stalls. “I don’t have any enemies that I know of. I haven’t had an argument in how many years.”

Ron Baggette, the chief investigator for the Sheriff’s Office, said deputies were following up on a few leads and planned to talk to teenagers in the area today.
“I don’t have any evidence that leads me to believe anyone was targeting this individual,” he said.

Parham said it appears his horses have been mistreated for several months. He described this week’s attacks as a “rampage,” with one horse suffering blindness due to head trauma and the others receiving multiple puncture wounds from what appears to be a pitchfork.
Parham said nearly every one of his 13 horses has been mistreated. He said he noticed one horse could barely walk, which he thought was the result of a disease. Later, some of the horses were bloody, which he said he thought might have occurred from rubbing against a nail in the stall.
On Wednesday, Parham said, one of the Tennessee Walking horses that normally greets him enthusiastically simply stood in the stall, surrounded by flies. He said he discovered puncture wounds on its necks, back and side. The others horses also bore the signs of wounds, some healed, some fresh.
The horses and under veterinary care and deputies are investigation the case as animal cruelty. Parham said the horses are all expected to survive, but he added, “They are definitely traumatized. They are no the same.”
Mindy Gilbert, the state director of the Humane Society, asked for the public’s help.
“Anyone who could attack horses like this could be dangerous to people, too,” she said in a prepared statement. “We hope our reward helps find those who are responsible for hurting these innocent horses and bring justice in this troubling case.”
Gilbert said in an interview that animal cruelty against horses is a Class B misdemeanor in Alabama. It is also possible a suspect could be charged with livestock mutilation, which is a Class C felony carrying a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison, she said.
Gilbert said she is encouraged by the Sheriff’s Office’s response.
“They think this is serious,” she said. “They would like to have the appropriate information to pursue it.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office at 251-275-8132 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              251-275-8132      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
The Humane Society offers rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and lobbies for stronger animal cruelty laws.

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