BATTLE CREEK, Mich.- Two horse owners in Calhoun County are devastated after losing three animals that have been in his family for years. Jeff and April Hunter said the death of their miniature horses remains a mystery.
The couple is willing to pay for information that would answer, what killed their three horses?
The Hunter’s family farm, where they kept the horses, is off Watkins Road in Battle Creek.
Five years ago, April Hunter got a miniature horse and instantly fell in love. Soon she and her husband got two more to keep the horse company. Each day the horses had a routine but on Thursday, June 20th, the routine ended without warning or clear reason why.
Jeff and April thought their three miniature horses, 15-year-old Pepper, 5-year-old Peanut and 2-year-old Buck would make anyone who met them animal lovers too.
Jeff said, “They would run all over together in the pasture, just yesterday they were having a ball.”
That’s what makes their discovery Thursday so disturbing.
“We did nothing different. For years, the same routine,” he said.
Thursday morning they found the 2-year-old, Buck, dead in the field. When they realized the other mini horses were sick as well, they thought this was much more than a simple coincidence.
Within hours of finding Buck, another horse was sick. Jeff said, “Her tongue was hanging out, she was staggering.”
They called both a vet and the police. The Hunters couldn’t explain what was happening.
Jeff said, “Maybe someone was pulling a practical joke or threw something over the fence later in the morning and poisoned them. It’s awful that three mini horses die in the same day.”
April said the vet tried for hours to save the third horse, “She was suffering, she was just in cold sweats. Her body was cold. It was just the best decision to put them down.”
Within eight hours all three of the family’s horses died. The Hunters felt helpless as they filed a report with police.
“They (the police) said there is nothing they can really do about it because there is no evidence,” said April.
They are sharing their story as a warning to others and they are hoping that someone can shed light on what exactly killed their pets.
Jeff said he is willing to pay $500 to anyone with information on what happened to their horses. They ask that you call Battle Creek police with any tips you may have.