Teen shoots horses for fun playing ‘American Sniper’ real life video game

In Iron Mountain, Michigan, a 19-year-old man has been accused of shooting two horses, after admitting to authorities he had been playing the video game “American Sniper” before going outdoors to shoot the animals in a real life video game. According to the Iron Mountain Daily News, Luke Endjamin Wool, allegedly told authorities he shot a draft horse on February 24 and then shot and injured the second horse on March 16. The investigation from the March 16 incident tied the first horse’s death to Wool; that horse died as a result of severing a main artery after breaking its leg.

Wool told police he shot the second horse because it “laughed” at him and “draft horses are supposed to be in pairs.”

On Monday, Wool was arraigned in Iron County Trial Court. The owner of the horses, Chuck Battan stated the surviving horse had been in surgery to remove bullets from his flank quarter. The family have been horse owners for the past 42 years and have never had an incident of anyone shooting their animals. The 2,500-pound male horses performed in horse-pulling competitions and some farm work.

Wool lived rent free with his pastor and when they were out of town, Wool figured out how to get five guns and ammunition out of the safe.

If convicted on all counts, Wool faces the maximum of 18 years in prison for the discharge of a firearm in or at a building, a ten-year felony, and two counts of killing or torturing animals, each a four-year felony.  He is currently being held in jail pending a $10,000 bond.

(Police photos of Luke Wool allegedly dressed playing “American Sniper”)

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Wild horses gather to mourn the death of mare who died birthing her foal

In an extremely sad yet heartwarming video, a herd of horses are shown gathering around a dead mare who died giving birth to a foal, as if both mourning her death and expressing their final respects.

On the Facebook page of the  Salt River Wild Horse Management Group,  the video shows separate bands of wild horses, along the Salt River in Arizona, lining up as they slowly walk by the body of a two-year-old dun mare referred to as Clydette. The mare died after her foal became stuck in the birth canal during delivery. The organization rushed their veterinarian out to the area to help, but by the time they arrived, Clydette had gone into septic shock and died – the foal also dying because she was just stuck too long.

As the veterinarian team moved away from Clydette’s breathless body, her band arrived and nuzzled her, after which the roan, her lead stallion, cried out for her very loudly. Shortly after that, they moved away from her body, but stayed close. Other bands heard and somehow knew exactly where the mare was and what had occurred:

“What happened next was amazing; the other bands stood in line taking turns saying their goodbyes. First one band, then another. Then the two lead stallions of those two bands got into a short power struggle. Then you can see how Clydette’s lead stallion comes running back one last time letting out a short scream in a last effort to protect her, or perhaps to tell everyone that she was his.”

“It takes a most highly intelligent species to understand and actually mourn death. We have seen bands mourn their losses before, but for other bands to come and mourn her death also was simply awe inspiring. These animals have evolved to have amazing survival skills and very close and protective family bonds. In this natural behavior, lies true scientific value.”

This video was taken after her own band had walked away, approximately 30 minutes after she died. Many thanks to the person who called in this emergency.

Rest in peace Clydette and little Tootie.

The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group is an Arizona based non profit Organization (501c3), set up to protect and preserve the Salt River Wild Horses. To donate, please click here.

(Photo and video of wild horses gather courtesy of Salt River Wild Horse Management)

Watch the video here. Draw your own conclusions as to the horses reactions.

Teen mom accused of animal cruelty after painting miniature pony

Farrah Abraham, 25, of Teen Mom fame, has run into a ton of online media criticism from animal lovers this week, after posting a photo of her daughter’s miniature pony painted with pink and purple neon hearts on her body and her mane.

“That’s animal abuse she should be taken away from u!”, one person commented on Instagram while someone else added, “That poor horse, you’re a horrible selfish human being!”

And this was the general reaction to Abraham’s eight-year-old daughter, Sophia’s birthday party as the themes Beauty and the Beast and My Little Pony involved more than a bunch of little friends dressed up – runway style. Sure there was an amazing birthday cake, beauty treatments for the little girls and even Belle – who walked down the fake red carpet. As much as that might seem a bit extravagant, lavish birthday parties for children are rarely scoffed at – that is if it doesn’t include using an animal as a prop. In this case, it was Sophia’s miniature pony Starburst who the child received as a Christmas present.

According to InTouch, concerns just weren’t addressed for Abraham’s poor judgment as to using a living animal as an art easel, but the safety of the pony may have been even more important:

“Considering her age, she could have gotten paint in the pony’s eyes or ears or the pony could have ingested the paint/fumes,” one concerned commenter wrote. Another added, “Definite animal abuse. What is wrong with these people?”

Farrah became pregnant when she was 16; giving birth to Sophia when she was 17. Sophia’s father, Derek, was killed in a car crash eight months into Farrah’s pregnancy. As to the criticism, Abraham shrugged it off stating the paint was probably pet friendly and kept posting pictures of the birthday party – even with Starburst painted with pink and purple neon hearts on her coat and streaked through her mane. Did I mention the white pony also  wore pink leg warmers?

Photos of teen mom’ s painted pony via Instagram.

What do you think?

Video of miniature horse in highchair sparks animal cruelty outrage

The video of a miniature horse eating in a high chair has sparked social media outrage with animal advocates; many viewers calling the action animal cruelty and abuse. The short 27-second video emerged online last week and quickly built up steam as viewers watched a miniature horse sitting in a high chair, making it look more like a human baby eating rather than a tiny horse.

According to the Daily Mail, animal advocates contend the animal, which appeared to be eating carrot pieces from a bowl, should not have been perched in the chair worrying about the consequences on the horse’s health and safety. The video is stated to have originated out of  a farm located in Saku, Japan, and later circulated on social media. Suetoshi Farm, which has posted videos of its miniature horse in the past, shared the clip on Instagram last week. Readers and viewers of the video were very outspoken – many overtly disturbed, after viewing the video:

“…. This is not funny. It breaks my heart. To people who find this amusing, be a bit smarter. This is animal cruelty. One of the most stupid things I’ve seen lately. Stop treating animals like human babies. Instead give them an appropriate animal-friendly living.”

Other viewers commented on the damage the position could do to a horse’s back, stomach and intestines.

So, then the question remains if the mini suffered from a condition called megaesophagus, a structural issue from a malformed esophagus making it hard for an animal to swallow. The malformation does appear in dogs and cats, and propping them upright in a high chair is a way to use gravity to help the animal swallow and prevent choking. And then a user, identified as Lizzi Moore corroborated the condition of the miniature horse. It is not known if the mini has megaesophagus, however as many people did emphasize – the mini didn’t seem to be in any kind of distress, and anyone who knows horses, know they don’t eat when they’re stressed.

What do you think?

Photos of miniature horse in high chair freezeshot from YouTube video.

Watch the video here:

Political pressure? USDA reposting animal welfare data

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today has been reposting some of the tens of thousands of animal welfare documents previously removed from its website.  In an official announcement from APHIS they were,

“posting the first batch of annual reports of research institutions and inspection reports for certain Federal research facilities that the Agency regulates under the Animal Welfare Act.  The reports posted are part of a comprehensive review of the documents the Agency removed from its website in early February and are in the same redacted form as before.”

The agency claimed the entire search tool database had been removed on February 3, 2017 as part of a review to decide which information would be appropriate for reposting. At that time, thousands of publicly searchable records for zoos, research laboratories, commercial breeders including puppy mill facilities and circuses with the agency were deleted citing “privacy concerns.”

In the past, the data base had been a resource for journalists and animal advocates groups including animal rescue organizations in uncovering animal cruelty. Animal advocacy groups including the Humane Society of the United States accompanied by 101 United States representatives, 18 senators and animal advocates across the nation have publicly condemned the agency’s decision.

As to the “first batch” of records restored on Friday, annual reports and inspection records have been restored. Wayne Pacelle, the CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States calls the reposting of the records a “step in the right direction,” but has no intention of backing down until all the data is restored. Records still missing include information about research laboratories that use animals, puppy mills, zoos, horse soring and those activities relevant to the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has sued the agency and states it will not drop the suit until the USDA complies. In a statement Brittany Peet, director of captive animal law enforcement at the PETA Foundation in Washington, D.C. released the following statement:

“Under duress, the USDA is now attempting to get away with reposting only a tiny fraction of the animal welfare records it suddenly and indefensibly deleted … and that does not satisfy PETA [People for the Ethical Treatmeant of Animals] or the other plaintiffs in the pending lawsuit against it.

And then there are bipartisan politicians speaking out in defense of the animals:

“While I’m glad the USDA is starting the process of restoring some information online, there is no excuse for the agency’s abrupt actions to reduce transparency and prevent Americans from knowing about animal abuse,” stated Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).

In addition, Representative Vern Buchanan (R. Fla) states this still isn’t enough and posted in a statement:

“…This website protects animals and the database should be fully restored. At the end of the day, putting a few document back online is not good enough.”

It would appear this barrage of criticism isn’t going to stop until all records are restored. What do you think? Please weigh in. The previous articles are this very important issue can be found below.

Read prior stories here:

USDA removes inspection reports and information from website

Trump USDA pick has animal-rights activists worried

Humane Society challenges USDA for hiding animal welfare data

Horse stuck in ice-covered swimming pool

Days ago, a horse named “Lucky” found himself in a frightening situation in Idaho after he got out of his enclosure and his curiosity nearly got the best of him when he wandered away. The horse who went exploring somehow became trapped in a nearby resident’s ice-covered swimming pool late Saturday afternoon, reported UPI.

Not-so-lucky,”Lucky,” was completely trapped in the frozen pool and if not for the help of neighbors and rescuers with the fire department, he may not have survived.

Firefighters with the Eagle Fire Department had to break through the thick ice with a chainsaw in order to reach the five-year-old horse. Eagle Fire Battalion Chief Rob Shoplock, the frightened horse wasn’t receptive to his rescuers efforts in the beginning – he told the Idaho Statesman, ““When we starting moving him, he was not having it — he actually fell down under the water.”Screenshot (1133)

Fortunately, Lucky finally lived up to his name and was freed from the pool – after being warmed up, he was examined by a veterinarian and amazingly, he Screenshot (1134)appeared to be okay, despite the traumatizing. and COLD ordeal.

(Photos via Eagle Fire Department Twitter)





Read another heartwarming story involving a brave police officer and a trapped dog here.

Officer rescues dog from icy lake

Colt attacked by cougar during birth recovering from injuries

In Norco, California, a colt named Charlie was attacked by a cougar while being born just three weeks ago. Shortly before the New Year, Phlicka had been giving birth when the cougar attacked. Owner, Diane Truxillo heard a commotion from the dogs that something was going on and rushed outside to the barn.

According to AbcNews, the family dogs chased the cougar away, but not before the rare newborn Knabstrupper foal was critically injured.

“You could see his carotid artery. You could see that the membrane covering the carotid artery was the only thing that wasn’t broken,” stated Allyson Gagnon, the veterinarian who treated Charlie. “He wanted to live. He really wanted to live.”

Phlicka was also treated for her injuries to her eye while she stayed next to her foal as he slowly recuperated. And for nearly three weeks, Charlie had the most dedicated and loving care. Supporters in the Norco community helped with donations to pay Charlie’s veterinarian expenses. Family and friends call it a miracle.

(Photo of Charlie after cougar attack screenshot via AbcNews)

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Horse survived 6 weeks alone in snow after owner abandoned her

A six-year-old mare that had been abandoned in the deep snow in the back country at Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming, at the end of a hunting trip survived 6 weeks alone. According to her owner, BJ Hill, the proprietor  and operator of Swift Creek Outfitters and Teton Horseback Adventures, the horse named Valentine had become extremely ill and “had all the signs of dying.” At that point, Valentine was left on her own; Hill was sure a predator would have killed her in an area known for wolves.

Not so at all, because on December 14, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reported a trail groomer spotted the dark-coated mare, albeit extremely gaunt and pawing at the drifts to find any hidden grass,  standing out in the deep snow. He contacted the Shosone National Forest’s Wind River ranger station in Dubois. By the next morning U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Dirk Chalfant found out who the horse belonged to and what had occurred:

“What I discovered is this horse had probably been in there for six weeks, and at a least three of those weeks it was probably in about five feet of snow and occasionally 30 below zero,” stated Chalfant.

And then came the plans for her rescue after Hill was told his horse had survived. Through ungroomed trails and snow still falling, Chalfant, Hill and Hill’s son loaded up some hay for Valentine and used a snowmobile to finally find her. When Valentine spotted her rescuers, she made it quite clear she had no intentions of being left behind again.

“She didn’t want to spend another night back there alone,” Chalfant said. “If we had to leave her and drive away, I think she would have been heartbroken.”

Thanks to the groomer who first spotted the horse, he was able to carve out a rough path and then the men built a road behind her. Attached by a lead rope, the snow was packed down by the men, as Valentine happily made her way out of Fish Creek Trail. For the next eight hours, the horse, at her own pace traveled nearly 20 miles through the deep snow; she had no “quit” in her. And when the men and Valentine reached the road, a trailer was ready to take her home to Pavillion.

Some true stories are just stranger than fiction. Welcome home Valentine.  (Photo of horse survived courtesy of US Forest Service.)

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Denver police officer loses one vacation day after ‘forgetting’ about his horse

A Denver police officer has been docked one vacation day after he “forgot” and left his horse tied in a stall for 16 hours without food or water. By the time the horse was discovered, released, watered and fed, he soon suffered from a severe case of colic and had to be humanely euthanized.

According to Channel 9News, the Denver Police Department mounted patrol officer, Joseph Teeter ignored his horse MC Hammer after the two had patrolled the downtown area on September 26, 2016. Teeter returned the horse to the Denver Police Mounted Patrol Barn, removed the saddle and tied the horse-leaving two to three feet of slack. Documents state Tweeter “became distracted doing paperwork and forgot he had left the horse tied in the stall.”

MC Hammer was discovered the next morning still tied to the eyebolt. Although he was fed and watered, the horse colicked, however veterinarians could not conclude that the illness was a result of being tied for so long. In a December 20 disciplinary letter, Officer Teeter’s “forgetting” “exposed a live animal to cruel and extreme conditions.”

MC Hammer was ten years old and had been with the police force for nearly one year. The disciplinary letter stated Teeter was extremely remorseful about the situation and had been devastated at the time of the horse’s death. The district attorney’s office did not press charges.

Rest in peace MC Hammer.

(Photo of Denver police horse via website)

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Woman banned from keeping horses after seen on skeletal racehorse

A 22-year-old woman from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England has been banned for ten years from keeping horses after she posted photos on social media of her riding a skeletal racehorse.charlotte-mcpherson-2

According to the AngleNews, Charlotte McPherson was reported last March to the RSPCA after irate animal advocates photographed her riding a skeletal horse at a public event. The malnourished Thoroughbred named Thor’s bony hindquarters had been hidden from view with a heavy blanket.

On Monday, McPherson pleaded guilty to two counts of animal cruelty at Birmingham Magistrate’s Court. She had been charged with causing unnecessary suffering by failing to investigate the cause of the horse’s emaciated condition, failing to protect him from pain and suffering and injury by riding the horse in such poor condition. During the time, McPherson had the horse, she continued to ride him in that emaciated condition at least twice a week.charlotte-mcpherson-3

“Not only was he thin, but he had a sore on his spine which was underneath the saddle,” reported RSPCA Inspector Suzi Smith. “Thor would have been in a lot of pain while he was being ridden.”

In addition to the ten year ban on keeping a horse, McPherson was also sentenced to a year of community service, 160 hours of unpaid work and several fines including victim surcharges. Thor has since been rehabilitated and adopted and is reported to be living a wonderful life.

(Photos of skeletal racehorse via Caters and RSPCA screenshots)

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