A rare case of vandalism is being labeled as an act of animal cruelty by local officials.
At a North Carolina family horse farm, intruders have targeted the Lawrence family’s show horses, hacking into five of the horses’ tails over the past two months.
“It’s a situation that makes no sense,” said Barry Lawrence, owner. “Someone has come onto the property and harvested major sections of the tails of some of our show horses here.”
While the crime seems random, the family believes the thief’s motive was for profit and gain.
“My guess is that it probably has something to do with horse hair jewelry or buck tail fishing lures,” said Lawrence.
But, the crime is costing the family. In the show ring, gauges and chops into a horse’s tail will cause point deductions.
“The impact could be thousands of dollars in lost winnings, if you will, in lost shows,” Lawrence said.
The show ring isn’t the only place the horses’ vandalized tails will have a negative effect. As the summer heat arrives, the horses will be left without an effective way to cool themselves or to swat away biting flies.
“We will have to keep our show horses in the barn and barn feed them, until they regain enough of their tail enough to do that,” said Barry Lawrence.
Depending on breed and diet, a horse’s tail will grow three to four inches a year.
With no other farms being targeted, Rockingham County Sherriff Sam Page said, “To me it sounds like a bit of harassment of something going on.”
According to Sherriff Page, whoever is responsible could face multiple charges, including injury to real property, larceny, trespassing and a misdemeanor in cruelty to animals.
“It’s a cruel thing and again we want to do our part to identify who is causing these problems and bring them to justice,” said Sherriff Page.