The killings of 2007 and 2008 were almost behind me. I had almost forgotten.
Then recently, on April 28, the killer struck again.
Everything came flooding back: the hatred for the coward or cowards committing these acts of violence, the empathy for what their victims’ last moments must have been like, and a devastating sorrow over the loss of these victims.
Who are the victims? They are three more of the relatively unique wild equine residents of Sundre’s West Country.
Four more, when including the death of the unborn foal.
I visited the WHOAS (Wild Horses of Alberta Society) website and looked at the pictures.
I cried for the unborn foal whose life was taken before he even had a chance to take his first breath. For his mother, who desperately tried to give birth in her dying moments. For the young colt barely finishing his first year of life, and for the young stallion whose death was one filled with blinding fear and pain.
And again, I ask, why?
Who are these horses hurting so much that someone feels justified in going out and simply shooting them randomly, leaving them wounded and dying slow, painful, and senseless deaths?
I honestly don’t know what to think.
I am surprised and disappointed that our law enforcement officers — Fish and Wildlife as well as the RCMP — have still not located and apprehended anyone responsible, after four years of systematic slaughter, and numerous items that could be construed as evidence found at some of the kill sites.
I can’t help but wonder if the lack of justice in finding the killer or killers is because it just isn’t that important in the eyes of the law.
I honestly believe that if it were important, someone would have been apprehended by now.
I am writing this letter today to say that these deaths and these acts of senseless violence are important to me, and they are important to hundreds if not thousands of others.
Through our voices, it will become important enough to those who make the laws and to those who enforce them.
This latest slaughter has motivated me to join those who are already actively working at saving and protecting the wild horses of Alberta in hopes that one more body, one more voice, might help the WHOA Society to finally get these horses the protected status they deserve and to bring the killer, or killers, to justice.
In writing this, I hope that many of the people reading this letter will decide to do the same.
If we continue to do nothing, then nothing will change.
If we continue to say nothing, then nothing will change.
By acting and speaking together, we can make a change.
Together we can save these beautiful and intelligent creatures — the wild horses of Alberta.