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Stolen Horse International Commentary on Florida Horse Theft and Dismemberment

If you stop the horse theft, you help stop the killings.

There has been a very disturbing case involving "Ger onimo," an 8-year-old Quarter Horse stolen from Ivonne Rodriguez of Redland, Florida. Although an official report had not been filed, Stolen Horse International had been alerted to the theft of this horse and was one of the reasons we issued a IDAHO ALERT theft warning this past weekend for that area.

The Paint horse was taken from his pasture, walked to a nearby field, tied to a tree, killed and stripped of the meat on his body. His decapitated carcass was found Thursday, March 5, 2009 not far from his own home. His head was later recovered, which gave the unmistakable true identity of the horse who had suffered in this crime.

This is a horrible ending to a beautiful horse and we, at Stolen Horse International and our volunteer NetPosse members, hurt for the Rodriquez family. But they are not alone.

Law Enforcement officers in the Miami-Dade area find the facts in this case, and other similar cases in Miami and the Palm Beach areas, hard to understand. The slaughter of horses in this manner is not “new” news for me. I have a documentary video lying around here somewhere that shows footage on this very same problem, but in Canada.

In reading the recent news coverage and consulting with news agencies, it seems that the primary focus is on the slaughter of the horses. It is difficult to interpret the whole story behind the killings any way other than to conclude that the horses, on the whole statewide, might be at risk first from horse theft, and second, that horse theft might result in a very tragic ending.

I have been in touch with authorities in the Florida, and I am not ready to point the finger at any single cause for this problem, when in fact, there might be several explanations. Not all of the horses found have had the meat stripped from their bodies. Some have been in various degrees of decomposition.

For now, we're studying all possibilities, and I am urging horse owners and authorities to do the same. To believe that the slaughter of these horses is related only to the closing of the legal slaughter facilities in the United States, at this point, is pre-mature.


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