Horse owner Lisa Anne Kreger of Walworth, N.Y. arrived at the barn at 6:30 on Monday morning to feed her 4-year-old palomino gelding, Dusty, and immediately noticed something wrong. Part of his forelock was missing, and when she entered his stall, she was shocked to find parts of his mane and nearly all of his tail chopped off. A sideways R, similar to the “Lazy R” symbol used in some ranch brands, was scrawled across Dusty’s side in black spray paint. The same symbol was spray-painted on the horse’s stall door.
Photo by Lisa Anne Kreger via Facebook
Dusty was not injured in the incident, but with his tail gone, he has lost his primary defense against flies right in the middle of summer. His tail was cut so short that it can’t easily hold a tail bag or tail extension.
The vandals entered the barn sometime between 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 20 and 6:30 a.m. on Monday. The other horse in the barn was untouched, and nothing in the barn was found to be stolen or damaged.
Kreger told local TV station WHAM that she does not believe this was a random act of vandalism.
“I absolutely believe 100 percent that I was targeted,” she said. But why she would be targeted and who the perpetrators are remains a mystery.
Kreger posted on Facebook that she had been diagnosed with PTSD, and Dusty has been integral to her healing process. She and Dusty have received an outpouring of support on the social network and received an offer of a donated sheet from Glitz My Ride to protect Dusty from the flies as his tail regrows.
Horse tail thefts are not unheard of. Horse hair can be sold for use in crafts fashion accessories or as tail extensions for show horses. A white tail like Dusty’s is especially valuable. However, the nature of this incident suggests it was more a crime of vandalism than theft.
The loss of Dusty’s tail no doubt pales in comparison to the loss of peace of mind that Kreger and the property’s owner, Mike Bellingham, are now suffering as a result of the invasion. Both Kreger and Bellingham live on the property.
Anyone with information about the crime should contact the New York State Police
Read about protecting your horse and farm from crime:
Criminal Acts against Horses and What You Can Do to Prevent Them
Protect Your Horse from Theft
Horse Theft Prevention Tips