Four horses were found dead after reportedly being chased to death in the South Texas heat Thursday morning in Brooks County, near Falfurrias.
"These horses, we live off these horses," said Richard Ramirez, owner of the horses. "We can't get over it. We haven't slept all night thinking about these animals."
Ramirez said that someone went onto his property and chased five of his horses to death sometime Thursday morning.
According to Dr. Mike Vickers, a local veterinarian, the horses were chased until their muscles cramped up. He said the horses just laid down in the hot sun and died.
The horses were found within a one-mile radius of each other. One of the horses was pregnant. Ramirez said he immediately went the authorities to report what happened.
"It's a malicious act. Someone knew what they were doing," Vickers said. "They chased these horses to the point of exhaustion. No question there was malicious intent involved. It's very disturbing."
The local sheriff's department has asked some outside agencies to assist them in the investigation, including Texas Rangers.
"We're waiting to get with the rangers from the Cattle Men Association," Brooks County Deputy Brett Zable said. "We will be sitting down and taking it from there."
In the meantime, Ramirez said he and his family will wait, hoping that the authorities are able to catch whoever did this. He said he wants to prevent this from happening to other animals in Brooks County.
"Monday morning, the Rangers will be here investigating all these dead horses, and I don't know who is going to pay for all the damage," Ramirez said. "It sure ain't going to be me."
If and when a suspect is found, they could face felony charges of animal cruelty.
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