Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

Reward for finding horse thieves growing

Contributed byFerillo and Associates

In response to a series of recent horse thefts in S.C.’s Upstate, community leaders are raising reward money for information from the public that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the thieves.

Since February, thefts and attempted thefts of horses have been reported from Spartanburg, Pickens, and Abbeville Counties. The incidents have occurred on private horse farms and at a horse rescue facility.

Horse owners believe the thieves may be selling the stolen animals to low- end auctioneers who supply domestic horse slaughter operations, which export horse meat to international food markets.

John S. Rainey, who owns over 30 retired thoroughbred horses on a satellite facility of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation in Anderson County, has pledged a $2500 to the reward fund, which reached $7500 on Friday for tips on the horse thieves.

“This appalling chain of savagery must be stopped. We are a better country than this. We are appealing to the public to help with quick arrests,” Rainey said.

Anyone having information on the horse thefts are encouraged to call the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office at 864- 446-6000.

Individuals or organizations wishing to pledge contributions to the reward fund should contact Tracey Steiger of Pure Thoughts, Inc. Horse and Foal Rescue of South Carolina at 716-341-0012.

There are 84,000 horses and mules in S.C., according to a 2004 census of the S.C. Department of Agriculture, with the largest horse populations in Aiken, Anderson, Spartanburg, Greenville, Laurens, and Pickens Counties.

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