Press Release

Animal Wellness Groups Offer Reward in Alpine, Arizona Wild Horse Shootings

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Animal Wellness Action and the Center for A Humane Economy are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting and killing at least 15 wild horses and seriously injuring at least four others in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near Alpine, Arizona, on or about Monday, October 3, 2022. The reward is in addition to an offer of $10,000 from American Wild Horse Campaign and another $10,000 from the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group.

The Case: Eyewitness reports give the following account: According to volunteers with the Alpine Wild Horse Advocates, the bodies of 15 horses have been found shot dead, with some killed by gunshots to the body and between the eyes. Four more horses were found with severe bullet wounds, including to the face and abdomen. Witnesses are reporting that at least 20 more members of the herd are missing and feared injured or killed. The horses were members of the Alpine herd, which has been targeted for removal by the Forest Service, which has already trapped and captured 20 of the horses who, due to their unprotected status, are at risk of being sold to kill buyers for slaughter in Mexican or Canadian meat plants. 

Animal Cruelty: Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community.  The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented.  Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.

“The senseless act of shooting these magnificent wild horses was a cowardly, premeditated act of depravity and evil, and resulted in at least 15 dead horses, four more with gruesome, potentially mortal injuries, and orphaned foals,” said Scott Beckstead, equine welfare specialist and director of campaigns for Animal Wellness Action and the Center for A Humane Economy.  “We share the public’s outrage over the killing of these wild horses, and we applaud the Alpine Wild Horse Advocates, who have undertaken the heartbreaking task of documenting the killings and monitoring the situation.  We hope our reward offer will assist in identifying those responsible and bringing them to justice.”

 The Investigation: The case is being investigated by the State Veterinarian and Arizona Department of Agriculture, which are conducting necropsies on the dead horses. Updates on the case can be found on the Facebook page for the Alpine Wild Horse Advocates. Organizers have set a goal of a reward fund of at least $40,000.

Anyone with tips or leads should call or text the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group at 480-868-9301.

The Center for a Humane Economy (“the Center”) is a non-profit organization that focuses on influencing the conduct of corporations to forge a humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both.

Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

The Animal Wellness Foundation (Foundation) is a Los Angeles-based private charitable organization with a mission of helping animals by making veterinary care available to everyone with a pet, regardless of economic ability. We organize rescue efforts and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving caregiver. We are advocates for getting veterinarians to the front lines of the animal welfare movement; promoting responsible pet ownership; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent animal cruelty and that alleviate suffering. We believe helping animals helps us all.

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