Cross-posted from KXAN TV Austin
REPORTED BY ANGIE BEAVIN
BASTROP (KXAN) — The director of a rescue sanctuary for horses is reaching out for help. Two of her horses were found dead in November. One was shot to death.
The ranch is off of John Craft Road in Red Rock in Bastrop County. The owner is working with the Sheriff’s Office to get to the bottom of the case, but she hopes getting the word out might help.
The Amaryllis Farms Equine Rescue Sanctuary spans 80 acres. Buried deep in the county, the ranch is down a one lane gravel road. It’s Barbara Colliton’s sanctuary.
“We take horses that are unwanted,” Colliton said.
She was caring for 18 horses, until two went missing. One was a Clydesdale mare named Cali. The other was a thoroughbred named Gi. He was recovering from a mountain lion attack in Nevada.
“He was a strong, just amazing, amazing horse,” Colliton said.
Cali went missing mid-November. After a couple of days of searching for the Clydesdale, Colliton found her. The mare was on the railroad tracks behind the sanctuary property, hit and killed by a train.
It’s the question of how the horse got there that concerns Colliton.
“Somebody had opened the gate, coiled all of the lead ropes–everything that was securing the gate–had coiled them neatly next to the fence post,” Colliton said.
Less than two weeks later, Gi the thoroughbred was gone. Colliton searched her property for days, until she finally made the discovery.
“We had been just right there, and didn’t see him,” Colliton sayid. “It wasn’t until we saw the birds.”
Gi was shot in the hip and then again through the chest, lying in a stack of twigs and brush near the pond.
“In order for him to get to where he was, [someone] had to walk him down through here,” Colliton said.
Gi is buried on sanctuary grounds, right where he was found. She’s left with more questions than answers in the mysterious deaths of two of her horses
“Was it hunters?” Colliton wondered. “Was it the same person?”
She wants to get the word out and make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen again–to her, or to anyone. In addition to working with the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office, she’s also offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest.
The Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office is investigating another case of felony animal cruelty.
Deputies are looking for Mariano Resendiz Villafuerta. He’s accused of dragging a horse he owns behind a pick-up truck for 100 yards, then kicking the animal repeatedly.
That horse is recovering.
The incident happened just a day before one of the horses on the Amaryllis Ranch was found dead.