According to Oxford Lt. L.G. Owens, both horses were killed sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning in a pasture on the 100 block of McIntosh Road. The horses had multiple gunshot wounds, Owens said. One was shot in the head and in the rear quarter. The other was shot three times in the side.
There were no suspects as of Friday morning, according to Owens. Owens said the department has also notified area game wardens about the incident.
“I think it takes a particularly sick individual to do something like that,” Owens said.
Renee Rice, the owner of the horses, reported the incident to police after she and family members found Penny, her youngest daughter’s horse, lying motionless on the ground Wednesday morning.
When she and her husband went to investigate, they saw that Penny and their other horse, Twinkle, had been shot.
“I sobbed continually all day, dreading the moment we would have to explain to our 7-year-old daughter that someone could be so mean. How scary to think that someone would ride down the road shooting someone's pets? Who is the next target? Someone in my family or a neighbor?” Rice wrote in an emailed statement.
Rice said by phone Friday that what really bothers her is that someone out there is shooting and torturing pets.
“It was weird and mean as a snake,” she said.
The Rice family horses were not the only animals found dead Wednesday morning. Police also found two dead deer on Barry Street, Rice said.
According to Owens, McIntosh Road is a residential area. The lieutenant said he doesn’t believe the horses were shot accidentally or mistaken for deer.
A worker with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said deer hunting season ended Jan. 31.
Owens was not positive as to what firearm had been used to kill the horses, but said it may have been a rifle.
Owens said Friday afternoon that the horse deaths were not related to the death of several goats in Ohatchee earlier this week. The investigation into those deaths was continuing Friday afternoon.
Any suspect could face a felony charge of killing or disabling livestock and a misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm within city limits, according to a police report.
Owens urged anyone with information regarding the incident to call the Oxford police tip line at 256-835-6122.
Staff writer Madasyn Czebiniak: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @MCzebiniak_Star.