Police Abuse

Deputy Shoots and Kills Pony; Says Horse Was Critically Injured But the Facts Don't Match

The deputy says he called the Humane Society but the Society denies it; a vet says the pony was healthy when the deputy killed him.

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KATU

Clackamas County, Oregon, resident Crista Fitzgerald went looking for her pony Gir on a Thursday morning in February, finding him laying in a pool of blood in front of a neighbor's house. The neighbor said she called police when the pony showed up in her front yard and that a sheriff's deputy shot and killed him.

The sheriff's department claims the deputy believed the pony had been hit by a car and had both his legs broken, but Fitzgerald had a veterinarian examine the body, and the vet said the pony had been in good health, except for arthritis that had on set in his old age, until being shot by deputy.

KATU reports:

[Sheriff's office spokesperson Nathan Thompson] said he believes the deputy called the Oregon Humane Society to ask about euthanizing the horse before he shot it. A spokeswoman for OHS tells KATU News the deputy never called them.

Thompson also said the deputy called a local veterinarian to ask about euthanizing the horse. KATU News reporter Hillary Lake contacted the vet about that call. He confirmed he did talk to the deputy, that his office offered assistance in euthanizing the horse, but that the officer said he would "take care of the problem on his own" and call a rendering service himself.

Thompson said the deputy made the decision to shoot the horse after also consulting his supervisor. 

"There wasn't very much I could say at that point because they shot the pony. I mean, i didn't know how to react," Fitzgerald said. 

According to Fitzgerald, the neighbor told the deputy the pony had been hit by a car.

Fitzgerald's husband filed a complaint over the shooting, which the sheriff's department is now investigating. The Oregon Humane Society, however, according to KATU, wouldn't confirm if it had briefly started an investigation into potential animal cruelty before closing it. 

h/t Lbjorksten

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  1. Okay, Reason. Are you just making up stuff now? Yes? Or trolling anti-copblock?

  2. If you call the cops, something, or someone, is very likely to die. When the fuck will people learn this obvious lesson?

    1. Not until it happens to them, someone they care about, or the kind(s) of people they sympathize with. That’s my impression.

      1. Yep. Show me someone who trusts the cops, and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t had any interaction with cops other than traffic violations.

        1. Show me someone who trusts the cops, and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t had any legalinteraction with cops other than traffic violations.

          I have friends who became cops, other friends and family know officers personally. There’s very much an “I’m glad they’re on my side!” mentality. Seldom do they realize it is/can be like training and keeping a vicious attack dog, only less predictable and more lethal.

          1. When you’re friends and/or family of officers, you get treated totally differently.

            I got the “easy treatment” once. I had wrecked my car, and when the officer radioed in my info the sergeant in charge recognized my address as that of my stepfather with whom I was staying at the time. He sells cars to the police department, so I got the friend treatment. I should have gotten a DUI, and instead I got a ride home.

        2. Some just rationalize it as “they must have done something wrong, because the police don’t just …” or they think it couldn’t happen to them because “I always treat them with respect and call them sir or ma’am when dealing with them”

          1. ^This^

            I know plenty of people who think that Eric Garner messed around with the police and lost. When I point out that most of them have transported and/or sold alcohol or fireworks or tobacco or even the occasional firearm across state lines without regard to tax or distribution laws they act like I’m just being silly.

    2. This case was surely the pony’s fault. I bet that it made a furtive gesture.

      “‘It’s coming right for us!’ ‘KICK ASS!'”

    3. When it happens to them or to somebody they love.

  3. “Hey sarge, I NEED to kill this pony!”

  4. LIL’ SEBASTIAN NOOOOOO

  5. Looks to me like the neighbor had a grudge.

    1. What I didn’t see was a statement BY THE NEIGHBOR that she had told the cop the horse had been hit in the road and had broken legs (plural). That’s what the cop says the neighbor told him.

      And this was a next door neighbor. No way the neighbor didn’t know who the horse belonged to.

      It doesn’t add up. The fact that the neighbor called the cops instead of the owners is weird (or maybe she tried and they didn’t answer). The fact that the neighbor didn’t tell the cops who the horse belonged to is weird (unless she did, and he just blew it off).

      We already the cop lied about one thing (calling the Humane Society). Falsus in uno, buddy.

      1. It says a reporter did confirm that the deputy called the vet.

        1. The vet. Not the humane society. That’s what he lied about.

          1. Right. Well, he’s a cop. How can you expect him to be honest about anything?

  6. I am going to have to give the cop the benefit of doubt on this one. Neighbor says the pony was hit, pony has arthritis, can anyone here tell the difference between an arthritic pony and a pony with broken legs? If he truly thought it was hurt, he did the humanitarian thing to do. Can’t fault this.

    1. Why is it his call to make?

    2. mb,

      I’m confident that my perceptual capabilities are such that I can determine if a pony was hit by a motor vehicle or whether or not it has a pair broken legs.

      A) What types of injuries do I see on the pony?
      – None
      B) Does its legs look broken?
      – No
      C) Do its legs feel like they’re solid or do I feel breaks beneath the flesh?
      – Feel solid and no breaks or signs of damage
      D) Does it move without falling on its haunches when I gently lead it forward?
      – Yes

      1. No kidding. When a horse has broken legs, its incredibly obvious, because their legs are basically skin-wrapped bone.

        I’ve seen animals with legs broken by car collisions. Its completely an utterly unmistakable, even when the animal is 20 yards away and you’re driving 60 mph.

      2. Exactly so. A horse with a broken leg cannot put any weight on the leg, period. It is incredibly obvious.

        Thompson also said the deputy called a local veterinarian to ask about euthanizing the horse. KATU News reporter Hillary Lake contacted the vet about that call. He confirmed he did talk to the deputy, that his office offered assistance in euthanizing the horse, but that the officer said he would “take care of the problem on his own” and call a rendering service himself.

        Translation: This cop wanted to kill something. Shooting a horse is NOT humane unless you know exactly where you are aiming. The heart is buried several inches deep and would require a penetrating round to hit it exactly. A brain shot is even harder because the target is very small.

        If you must put a horse down, shooting it is the very last resort. Let a vet do it.

        1. I’m not a horse guy, but I did think shooting was the preferred method of euthanizing a horse*. Is it the case that it is the method of choice, but only when done by someone who knows the animal’s anatomy?

          *perhaps ill-informed by James Herriott

          1. Shooting was the preferred method in Herriott’s day. That was long before the advent of the powerful narcotics now used.

            And it was probably fairly common knowledge how to do it properly as most people would have had acquaintance with horses in Herriott’s time.

            Now, it is specialized knowledge. (And probably too difficult for a cop to learn.)

            My wish is that PETA gets this cop’s home address.

            1. PETA is too busy killing dogs with hammers in the backs of their vans for ten bucks a piece.

              1. And it was probably fairly common knowledge how to do it properly as most people would have had acquaintance with horses in Herriott’s time.

                There’s an old Casual Family Story/Tradition/Legend that, for several generations, the crotchety old men were known for beating draft animals to death barehanded.

                I carry the distinct impression that if the gun was the only option you had for killing the animal, the most humane way of doing had mostly been achieved, vet or not.

              2. PETA always has time for a shriekfest.

                And I can’t think of a better person to be at the center of one than this deputy.

      3. So you’re saying we need to send all cops to veterinary school? Or at least have some specialized training in identifying injured animals.

        Time for another startup!

        1. Stop being dense.

    3. Yes. Anyone who’s been around a horse more than once in his life can tell the difference between an arthritic pony and a pony with broken legs. This is an even more idiotic justification than the cops.

  7. Up in horsey heaven, here’s the thing
    You trade your legs for angels wings
    And once we’ve all said good-bye
    You take a running leap and you learn to fly

    Bye Bye Li’l Sebastian
    Miss you in the saddest fashion
    Bye Bye Li’l Sebastian
    You’re 5000 candles in the wind

    And though we all miss you everyday
    We know you’re up there eating heaven’s hay
    And here’s the part that hurts the most
    Humans cannot ride a ghost

    Bye Bye Li’l Sebastian
    Miss you in the saddest fashion
    Bye Bye Li’l Sebastian
    You’re 5000 candles in the wind

  8. Man, those loose llamas the other day have no idea how lucky they were.

    1. Lucky for them they’re an endangered species. So shooting one would actually result in discipline.

      1. Since when is the llama endangered?

        1. Were they specially trained Ecuadorian mountain llamas?
          If I recall correctly, there were only 40 known to be alive in the 1970s.

  9. “Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country?”

  10. Reposting from links:

    So cop kills perfectly healthy and harmless family pet, leaves it laying on the ground, lies his face off about why he shot it. And, just to rub salt in the wound, its an insultingly obvious lie that would never, ever stand up to scrutiny.

    What strikes me about this story is the lengths he took to try to make it look legit. Calling his supervisor, etc. A weird premeditation, combined with the obvious lie to make all the other crap completely pointless.

    Something seriously wrong with this guy, would be my guess. I suggest a paid vacation. Not too long, though.

    1. Of course there’s something wrong with him. He picked policing others as his chosen career. People who seek out that kind of petty power are not normal people.

  11. Fitzgerald’s husband filed a complaint over the shooting, which the sheriff’s department is now investigating

    By “investigating” you mean it’s sitting on the chief’s desk in a manila folder, unopened for a week before he stamps it “closed”, right?

  12. Maybe they just needed something to flog?

  13. A whole pasture of cows wandered into the rural town I grew up in. It was a super foggy morning, and probably 60 cows were walking around all over town. The local PD and Sheriffs were trying to round up the cows and herd them onto a trailer. Indiana State Police showed up and just started blasting the cows in the head with their shotguns. And the Rihm’s front end loader showed up shortly.

    1. Those things could have bitten someone!

  14. I can cop-hate with the best of ’em but it is not entirely clear the pony didn’t need killin’. The Deputy called a vet and his supervisor. The pony wasn’t COMING RIGHT AT HIM!

    1. So she sent Gir’s body to Oregon State University’s veterinary lab on February 25 for a second opinion.

      The report says Gir died by gunshot, had no broken bones except for a fractured jaw caused by a bullet, and was in excellent body condition considering he had arthritis.

      Pony autopsy!

      Seems weird the veterinary school would do this and provide an official document. I’m assuming they did based on the report, unless the reporter took the owner’s word she had two separate pony autopsies done. I wonder if the rendering plant has an opinion?

      1. Seems weird the veterinary school would do this and provide an official document.

        I’m guessing you’ve never been near a veterinary school? Depending on where you are, large animal vets are few and far between. Plenty of places have vet services/contracts and, generally at the vet school, if you sign your animal up for a trial there or at an affiliated vet and they’ll probably perform the necropsy for free.

    2. He got the vet’s opinion *after* he shot the pony…the vet wasn’t on-site. His supervisor (who wasn’t at the scene) isn’t a vet or qualified to determine whether putting down a horse is appropriate when he has no knowledge of the situation.

      As others have said, when a horse gets injuries like those sustained from getting hit by a car, there’s no ambiguity about it. Horses scream, quite loudly, when they’re seriously injured. The injuries, particularly to legs, are readily apparent. You don’t mistake injuries for arthritis. So if the police officer is saying that injuries from a car accident were justification for euthanasia, he’s either lying or he’s stupid and doesn’t know anything about horses (in which case he wasn’t in any position to make that judgment call).

  15. It’s not the officer’s fault that the pony looked exactly like a pit-bull!

    1. And a big one, too!

      Rip your face off, man

    2. It was coming right at them.

  16. Wow, this officer must have had one hell of an evening boasting at the evening piggy pow wow.

    Officer 1: I shot a dog today.

    Officer 2: I shot 2 dogs, and one was a puppy!

    Officer 3: I shot 2 dogs, a kitty, beat down a grandma, tased a 6 year old till he was unconscious!

    All officers gaze in awe and reverence at officer 3..

    Officer 4: Wait, I SHOT A FUCKING PONY!!!

  17. So a guy is driving on the highway and some horses come into the road. Too late to stop – the guy crashes into the horses and it’s a mess, the horses are lying there messed up and everything.

    State trooper comes by, sees the horses and says “I can’t bear to see them suffering” – shoots the horses. Then he comes up to the driver, who has broken arms, wrists and legs.

    Driver shouts, “hello, officer, I’m doing fine, never been better, I’ll just walk it off!”

  18. Are we sure the cop wasn’t Flounder?

    By the way – fuck the cop. hth

  19. OT:

    Hottest politician in the history of ever:

    http://thelibertarianrepublic……onal-fame/

    You are welcome.

    1. Damn. She’s got my vote.

      1. What amazing eyes. I know myself quite well and I’d be at risk of getting lost therein.

        [And thank you Dean]

        1. She has eyes?

          1. Yes sarc,

            N+ a thousand times yes.

            1. And big fakies too.

      2. I would punch her ballot again and again. No need to worry about any hanging chads on that one.

        1. Polish Voting Manual:

          1. Punch ballot.
          2. Repeat if necessary.

    2. Nikita acted surprised by her newfound international fame. “I’ve got about 500 new followers on instagram today. Most of them appear to be foreign. Is there something I don’t know?”

      Umm, have you seen what most of our female politicians here look like? Hint: they don’t exactly look like pron stars. Exhibit A through Z: Shillary

    3. She could make even Hamlet make up his mind!

      1. Alternate joke: She’s the reason the Danish peninsula looks like…a peninsula.

        1. 2nd alternate joke: Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry Danish!

    4. She could have done her bit to save the environment by using less cloth.

  20. A horse with two broken legs does not get up after being hit by a car and wander anywhere. It does not get up at all.

    A car that hits a horse, even a miniature, does not drive away from the scene. Their car will be badly damaged and they are gonna stick around to find out who to sue.

    He lied about calling the Humane Society.

    The cops story doesn’t hold water.

    1. Yup. If a horse/pony had been hit by a car, it would have had leg injuries. A pony with fractured legs isn’t going anywhere…it would have been lying on the ground, screaming, because either it wouldn’t have been able to get up from the road, or it would have shattered its legs shortly after leaving the road because their bodies are generally too heavy to be supported on broken legs for very long without breaking them further.

  21. Just as Joseph said I’m alarmed that a stay at home mom can earn $5046 in 4 weeks on the computer .
    check out the post right here …… ?????? http://www.jobsfish.com

    1. I’m not alarmed, maryjane. It’s called porn. And it built the internet.

  22. I assume the neighbor didn’t like the pony because ponies, frankly, smell.

    They shit like horses and in the summer I bet it’s unpleasant downwind. Horses suck when they aren’t yours.

    So I will bet you $100 that the neighbor saw the pony loose, and called his cop friend to help him craft a final solution to the pony problem.

    1. One of my neighbors has pigs, and when the wind is right it’s foul outside. But he’s been saving me a lot of money by showing me how to do simple car repairs, like brakes and such, so it can be forgiven.

    2. Ponies suck. Most of the ponies I’ve dealt with have rotten temperments, bite people whenever they approach, and they definitely reek of shit.

      Horses aren’t as bad…there was a lot more variety to their personalities and I found them to be much cleaner animals. I busked the stables of both, and horses were much more pleasant to deal with, at least until one of them thinks it’s funny to try and crush you against a wall because he feels like testing you or to run by you from behind and take a kick at your head. But there were some who were very friendly, affectionate animals who I enjoyed interacting with.

    3. I think Fluffy outlines the only story that makes sense, given the facts on hand.

    4. So why in hell do you move to country acreages where people with horses live all around you?

      Town I once lived it allowed a whole subdivision built right next to a large horse farm. People moved in and started petitioning to force the horse farm to shut down because they didn’t like the smell. The owner told them to breathe deep and shut up, he was there first.

      1. There’s a lot of “horses-allowed” developments in Tucson, many of them quite nice.

        I declined to buy a house in any of them. Because I’ve been around horses, thanks.

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  24. Will youse guys PLEASE stop beating a dead horse!?!?

  25. He was just trying to one up his co-workers who were bragging about shooting a dog.

    “Oh yeah, well I shot a horse!”

  26. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8012 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here… ……

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  27. i hope someone shoots the deputy

    1. Inappropriate.

  28. I am sure the officer was in fear for his life, or perhaps he had something important to do rather than wait for animal control.

  29. They seem to have moved on from dogs.

  30. Oh oh, killing unarmed people with impunity and without consequences can be justified, but when they start killing animals, that’s when we need to put our foot down.

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