RCMP investigating complaints of horses shot in West Hants

Ashley Thompson athompson@hantsjournal.ca
Published on May 3, 2014

Ralph Morash is thankful to everyone that contributed to the efforts to relocate his herd of 14 horses that grew accustomed to a piece of undeveloped property along Wentworth Road owned by Fundy Gypsum. He’s also hopeful an RCMP investigation currently underway will prevent people from shooting at the animals.

Ashley Thompson

Local police are investigating complaints that two horses were shot in the Wentworth Road area this past fall. 

Const. Ian Murphy, of the Windsor RCMP, says it is alleged the horses were shot near Fundy Gypsum’s property in West Hants in November 2013.

“We received a complaint that one horse was shot and killed and that a second horse had been shot and injured,” he said, noting that the information was filed with the RCMP April 15, 2014.

He says investigators have a suspect in mind, but no names will be released unless charges are laid.

“We do have a person who is basically alleged to have done this and we’re still going through the course of our investigation.”

Murphy says an individual found responsible for shooting the horses would answer to a cruelty to animals charge under the Criminal Code of Canada. In extreme cases of cruelty of animals, the offender could be sentenced to up to five years in jail for an indictable offence, he added.

The Criminal Code of Canada states that a summary conviction in a cruelty to animals case can result in a fine of no more than $10,000, a prison term not exceeding 18 months, or both.

Ralph Morash, the owner of the horses that have recently come to be known as West Hants’ wild herd, confirmed the horses at the centre of the investigation evolved from his herd.

“They were born from the mares that I had,” the Wentworth Road resident said.

Morash’s herd freely roamed an undeveloped parcel of land owned by the gypsum company for years. When the fencing that once separated the horses from nearby properties started to fail, Morash was directed to move to horses elsewhere.

A group of horse enthusiasts stepped up to help Morash, a man in his mid-70s, relocate the herd of 14 relatively untamed horses this winter. There are still two mares and one colt to move to a piece of privately owned property.

Morash says he finds it hard to comprehend why someone would take aim at the wild horses — or any innocent animal for that matter — and pull the trigger.

“What kind of a person could get fun out of that?”

Morash says the shooting in the fall was not the first, but he feels there’s a chance it will be the last if justice is served.