Someone killed a pony and removed meat from the body in Corrales in June.
Authorities are still investigating and looking to the public for tips. According to information from Animal Protection of New Mexico, a Welsh pony named Rocky was found dead in his stall on the morning of June 25. Someone had stabbed him in the chest, cut flesh from his body and taken it from the scene.
Under New Mexico law, that’s extreme animal cruelty, a fourth-degree felony. The New Mexico Livestock Board is leading the investigation with support from Corrales Police Department and Corrales Animal Services.
Livestock board Deputy Director Shawn Davis said that in his 20-year career, he’s never before seen such a thing done to a horse in New Mexico, although it has been done to cattle, sheep and goats on ranches. He said investigators don’t know the motivation behind the crime.
“I can’t imagine why anyone would do anything like this,” he said.
Corrales Police Lt. David Wiley said the pony was killed at a residence on Cabezon Road in Corrales. Investigators believe the crime happened between 10 p.m. June 24 and 7 a.m. June 25.
Corrales officers canvassed the area looking for surveillance videos and residents who saw or heard something suspicious, Wiley said. They found nothing.
“We’re really concerned,” Davis said, adding that he hopes to catch the perpetrator before another horse is killed.
He said he’d never before seen a case in which someone killed a horse by stabbing it in the chest, which is inhumane and awkward.
Davis said a veterinarian looked at photos of the body and verified that whoever butchered the pony has experience in such activities. The person had taken the prime cuts of meat and left the rest.
Butchering cattle or large game follows the same procedure as butchering a horse, he said.
Slaughtering horses for meat is illegal in the United States, and the last horse slaughterhouse closed in 2007, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Multiple Florida news outlets report five horses being killed and their meat taken from November through May in that state.
“Some of it looks exactly like what happened here,” Davis said.
According to a Tampa Bay Times report, while most Americans don’t eat horse meat, people in many other countries around the world do, and there’s a demand for horse meat on the U.S. black market.
According to the Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers Facebook page, Rocky, officially Quicksilver Rock Star, was 10 years old.
“Rocky was a champion hunter over fences who won honors at the Welsh Pony Nationals. His real calling was a pleasure-riding pony whose calm disposition and curious nature stole everyone’s heart,” the post said. “This loss has been devastating to his owners, who feel they lost a member of the family.”
Livestock board public outreach coordinator Mary Catey said investigators are hoping for tips from the public and are particularly interested in surveillance video from Cabezon Road area of Corrales during the time mentioned.
Animal Protection of New Mexico is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of whoever killed Rocky. Anyone with information can call 877-548-6263 and remain anonymous.
Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers, along with donations from the Corrales Horse and Mule People, are also offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible. People can provide tips anonymously by calling 843-7867 or visiting P3tips.com.
Corrales Animal Services will also take information at 898-0401.