A Douglas County man can't understand why anyone would shoot his horse and another animal.
The two horses were found lying on the ground covered in snow just below a tree line. Neighbors thought they died from the freezing cold temperatures. They were shocked to learn that someone actually aimed and shot them.
"He was born in 83, so he's 31 years old. We've had him that long and he was part of the family," said Darrel Harden.
Harden said his beloved horse Windstar had quite a track record during its glory days.
"He came off of a Nebraska race track. I just wanted to rescue him and give him a home," he said.
But the retired horse and another horse belonging to a relative somehow got out of Harden's Lecompton, KS, farm, just west of Lawrence. He had no idea they were in trouble until Harden got a call from law enforcement this week, letting him know both horses had been found dead from an act of animal cruelty a few miles away.
"This act was pretty malicious no doubt. I mean it's pretty cruel," said neighbor Gene Kahle.
Kahle and his wife saw the horses roaming in the area over the weekend and tried to herd them to a safe area, but said they wouldn't cooperate. A few days later he discovered they were dead in a ditch.
Kahle said most people who live out in the country love and respect farm animals.
"I grew up just up north up here. If an animal got out, you found out whose it was and you got it back to them. Whether it was a dog, horse, cow, whatever you just send them back," he said.
Harden said it's a shame there are people in this world who just want to kill such a beautiful animal for no good reason.
"It's unsettling to know there are people around our neighborhood that have done that," he said.
Without any witnesses law enforcement say solving the crime will be difficult. If you have any information that can help, you are asked to call the Douglas County Sheriff's Department at 785-841-0007.
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Tuesday, July 22 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-23 02:00:37 GMT
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