Authorities probe bullying link to horse death

Cross-posted from

Written by PAT RAIA

Law enforcement and authorities in Monongalia County, W.V., are investigating the death of a horse that could be linked to high school bullying.

In a written statement, Monongalia County Sheriff Kenneth “Al” Kisner said the horse’s owner, Allen Hixenbaugh, found the horse injured in its his pasture on May 24. The animal later died. A necropsy later revealed that the 6-year-old Quarter Horse died from a gunshot to the buttocks that pierced its his lung.

Hixenbaugh said his 17-year-old daughter had been harassed by a group of students at her school and on the Internet for months prior to the incident. The horse was shot shortly after the girl received Internet messages threatening to kill the animal.

“He had to be targeted because there were nine horses in that pasture and he was the only one shot,” Hixenbaugh said.

The Monongalia County Board of Education is conducting its own investigation, said spokesperson Becky Mattern.

“We know this is a serious issue, and we are taking it seriously,” Matten said. “We are working with the sheriff’s department and other local authorities to make sure we get to the truth.”

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