PINEDALE – Two domestic horses were found dead off of Capps Ranch Road near Pinedale, a small community west of Show Low.
The horses are owned by a local resident and may have been on national forest land, but not in an area that is part of the Heber Wild Horse Territory.
According to an October 1 news release issued by the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO), the horses’ owner was notified of the deceased animals on Monday, Sept. 30, by another party who discovered them near the residential dirt road.
Deputies responded to the area the same day they received the call to investigate.
“The horses had wounds that appeared to be made by small caliber bullets present in the chest area,” according to NCSO. “The horses looked to have been deceased for several days (judging by) decomposition and scavenger presence.”
NCSO has requested assistance in the case from the Arizona Department of Agriculture Livestock Field Office. NCSO has also confirmed that necropsies were performed and projectiles removed from both carcasses.
“Deputies and Livestock are out today in the area conducting follow up on this case,” informs the release, referring to Tuesday, Oct. 1.
The shooting comes in the wake of a number of shooting deaths in the past year of wild horses in the county. No arrests have been made in connection to those deaths.
The Independent reached out to Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests for comment, but did not receive a comment before press time.
A social media post with pictures of the dead horses has been circulating since early Monday morning.
“These horses were shot on caps ranch road (sic)west of Show Low, Arizona. The horses in that pasture are saddle horses for the ranch all with brands on them,” states the posted photo captioned by Alex Brunham. “If anyone has any information about the shooting of these 2 saddle horses I would appreciate it if you or the shooter would come forward.”
The social media post, as of Wednesday, had received over 1,400 comments and over 10,000 shares.
Anyone with information related to this incident is asked to call WeTip 1-800-78 CRIME or NCSO dispatch at 928-524-4050.
Calls remain anonymous and a reward may be offered for information leading to an arrest and prosecution.