Horse owners offer reward for info on suspected poisonings

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ELSINORE, Utah -- Sevier County sheriff's detectives are looking into the deaths of two horses, one of which was showcased in the funeral of another deputy.

The owners of the horses say they were poisoned last month, and they are offering a reward for information that leads o the person or persons responsible.

For the Mooney family, owning horses is just a way of life.

"They're family members," Nellie Mooney told KSL News Thursday.

Money's family owns Mooney Rescue, a horse-rescuing business in Elsinore. When two of their horses died recently, and when a third wasn't acting normal Mooney wondered if something was going on.

"The water [was] looking funny. It had floating stuff on top, and we had just emptied the water trough the night before," Mooney said.

Right away she thought someone poisoned her daughter's horses.

"They meant a lot to me," daughter Shannelle Mooney said. "They're like my babies. I took a lot of care of them and worked with them."

A detective with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office told KSL investigators are looking into this case, but at this point they can't find any evidence of any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Mooney had the water tested. Sheriff's investigators said it came back negative for any toxins, but it did have a trace amount of Tylenol.

Mooney then sent the liver of the second horse that died to a lab to be tested. Those results came back Thursday and, although investigators haven't had a chance to look at them yet, Mooney says they're proof someone is up to no good.

"The liver was damaged and the cause of death was poisoning," she said.

The two horses that died were show horses that had won several awards in competitions. In fact, one was used as a rider-less horse during Millard County Deputy Josie Greathouse Fox's funeral.

Mooney is offering a $1,000 reward for anybody with any information.

"I want to find out, and I want them prosecuted," she said.

"I just don't know how somebody could do that to them," Shanelle said.

For now, investigators are handling this case as a suspicious death.

The third horse that was poisoned is still sick but is doing better.



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