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March 11, 2010

The HSUS Commends Officials for Charges Filed in Nev. Wild Horse Killings

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust commend Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, along with a host of federal and state law enforcement officials for their diligent efforts to apprehend and charge two suspects for killing a band of six federally protected wild horses found in northern Washoe County, Nev., in early December. On Wednesday, two Pershing County, Nev. men —Todd Davis, 44, and Joshua Keathley, 36, both of Lovelock, Nev. — were charged with the malicious harassment and death of five wild free-roaming horses by shooting them.

The Case:

A Bureau of Land Management press release and news reports give the following account: On Dec. 5, 2009, a helicopter crew conducting a wild-horse gather saw five mustang carcasses in one area and a sixth, dead mustang about a half-mile away from the others. BLM officials from the Surprise Field Office in Cedarville, Calif., recognized the dead mustangs as belonging to a clan of horses known to roam the Buckhorn Herd Management Area. In January 2010, The HSUS added $2,500 to the $10,000 reward the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) initially offered for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for killing a band of six wild horses in the hopes that the substantial increase would encourage those with information to come forward.

"The Humane Society of the United States applauds the BLM and the other cooperating agencies for their tireless efforts to bring the perpetrators responsible for this heinous crime to justice," said Beverlee McGrath, The HSUS' Nevada state director.

Federal/State Wild Horse Protection Laws:

The federal Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 mandates the BLM to protect and manage wild horses in the United States. In addition, under state regulations adopted by the Nevada Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses, "A person who willfully and maliciously kills a wild horse is guilty of a category C felony (NRS 504.490 Unlawful acts) (Added to NRS by 1985, 1889; A 1999, 2516)

The Investigators:

The BLM's Office of Law Enforcement and Security California State Office in Redding, Calif., conducted the investigation in cooperation with the Lovelock Police Department, the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, the Washoe County Forensic Services Division, the Nevada Department of Wildlife, and the California Department of Fish and Game. The Humane Society of the United States and the State of Nevada Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses also contributed to the investigation.

The HSUS works to stop wildlife abuse and animal cruelty across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/wildlifeabuse for more information.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of millions of acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states and seven foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.

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