Skip to comments.Minn. Farmer ‘Shocked’ After Horses Put Down By State Patrol
Posted on 05/09/2013 8:00:01 PM PDT by Huntress
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) The Minnesota State Patrol had to put down two horses after they got away from their Faribault farm early Monday morning. Theyd been trying to get the horses back onto their property when they say the situation just became too unsafe. But, as can be imagined, the horses owner is very upset and has to foot the bill.
Suzette Clemens didnt even realize her quarter horses, Roper and Frenchie, had escaped when a tree fell on her electric fence, until a Rice County deputy showed up at her door in the middle of the night. He told her the horses had to be euthanized.
I was shocked, shocked, you know, she said. They didnt even spend more than 19 minutes trying to catch them.
Around 2 a.m. Monday, the horses made it to Interstate 35 near Mile Marker 55 in Faribault, a couple hundred yards from Clemens home. When Rice County Deputy Jason Witt first arrived, minutes after the call, he said one horse was on the side of the road and the other was on the freeway. He said once a State Trooper arrived, they unsuccessfully tried to get the 1,100-pound animals back over a 5-foot-high fence. Witt said there were some near-misses with trucks when the horses crossed into the lanes of traffic.
It was chaotic, I guess, thats the best way to describe it, Witt said.
Witt said the brown horses were hard to see in the dark and got more and more agitated as the minutes went on. At one point, one of the horses kicked his squad after the noise of a semi slamming its brakes.
Its obviously a situation that we recognize will be tragic for the owners of the horses, said Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol. Its not something we take lightly, but at 2 in the morning, in the dark, its really just a matter of time before something happens that ends in death or injury to a motorist.
As for using a tranquilizer on the large animals, Roekse said, Were not vets, we dont have the capability to do that.
Clemens questioned why troopers or deputies didnt try to stop traffic.
Ive seen people stop traffic for a turkey on a highway, why didnt they do that, she asked. Why didnt they come get me. It just takes 10 minutes to walk here.
Roeske said interstates are dangerous enough in the middle of the night. He recounted a story about a trooper hitting a horse last year and ending up seriously injured.
Weve seen firsthand how damaging and dangerous it can be, he said. At two oclock in the morning, in the pitch dark, it becomes a very dangerous situation for everyone involved.
About 20 minutes after the first call came in, the state trooper, along with the deputies present, decided it would be best to put the horses down. The trooper shot the horses with his rifle in the median.
Its a horrible, horrible thing, said Clemens. Theyre part of your family. It isnt like theyre a cow.
According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Clemens will be held responsible for the removal of the horses in the median.
Clemens said she expects a bill sometime within the year and her insurance company will not be able to cover any of it.
Hey, they’d been practicing by shooting dogs!
I have horses, and I love them dearly, but I can understand and accept that what the Troopers did was necessary.
They are a handful... and you can’t reason with them.
The trooper and deputies were impatient morons. At two in the morning they could have closed the damn highway for an hour with no serious repercussions to anyone.
Instead of wasting 20 minutes endangering everyone with their ham handed attempts, they could have closed the road and located the owner in the same amount of time.
The owner just needed a bucked of grain, halters and lead ropes and they’d be back in the corral in ten minutes.
Instead, she has very expensive dog food rotting in the median.
My wife and daughter hit a black angus cow at night about ten years ago. Its head came through the windshield between them. They weren’t hurt but the cow didn’t make it. The cops had to shoot it. My daughter won’t eat red meat to this day.
If the police can’t solve a problem with brute force, they’ll find a way to solve the problem with brute force.
Balderdash...you do not understand horses!
Thank you for the excellent tagline. Common sense has become so rare, it is now a super power.
Going with the cops on this one. Terrible tragedy for the horses and owner.
I would have thought it was mandatory to stop all traffic on the Iinterstate highway BEFORE attempting to corral the horses no matter what the final outcome was. It would seem the failure to shutdown the traffic flow immediately upon arrival at the scene endangered the motorists and the horses.
Horses or troopers?
All cops are perfect. There cannot possibly be a circumstance where a cop is the problem waiting for a solution.
ditto - does this mean that it is open season on deer, elk, moose or any other large animal on the highway? Try the “endangering traffic” excuse with the game warden and see how far it gets you. Cop demonstrated no sense and an itchy finger.
[[Theyd been trying to get the horses back onto their property when they say the situation just became too unsafe.]]
Became unsafe? Ya mean fer the horses? obviously so I guess-
People in rural Alaska still turn horses out for the winter. I’ve seen that across Canada also. Nobody I know would shoot horses along a highway, unless they had never been outside urban America and never had the common sense to deal with situations many people see all the time. My friends don’t shoot everything that gets outta place.
Previous to that event, where did she think red meat came from?
And she is OK with eating chicken meat?
where I live the sheriff has contracted local rodeo cowboys on call, who come immediately and rustle them up loose cows or horses.
wonder how long it would have taken them to go get the owner to help roundup her horses????
Loose horses don't bother me, urban people that can't drive do. Maybe it be OK if I start shooting all the dangerous drivers I see on the road when I go into Anchorage, ha ha.
They shoot horses, don’t they?
A bucket ( of most any kind ) and a little feed ( corn ) of some kind and the horses will follow you through fires of hell.
Looks like they’re not just shooting the family dog anymore....
Where I come out is that if law enforcement is incompetent in handling livestock then they have an obligation to call in someone who is before getting trigger happy.
The department should be held liable, officers repremanded, and new procedures written for dispatch so they have someone to call in at anytime.
Call me old school.
I actually have had to handle a horse situation before.....its not difficult
Horses are smart animals....and if corralled for any period of time...they will return to their home if they get loose
We had a horse wander on our school property a few times. He would hop his owners fence and walk to 7/11. Then walk back....2 mi round trip. The local sherrifs dept would get the call...and they just made sure he made it back home.
I guess the horse wanted some smokes and a Slurpee. I’m sure he got it for free...because that horse was as big as a Budwiser horse
These cops panicked...and panicked the horses. They should have closed the highway
I’d wager the cops involved never handled horses before in their lives.
It would appear they've escalated from dogs to horses.
This makes me soooooooooo mad. I just love horses, wish I could afford to have one.
Yep. A shame a little common sense wasn’t used.