A post on the San Antonio Craigslist website led to a short but powerful internet uproar by the local horse community.
The post read:
"Horse hunts! I have a 300 acre ranch just outside of SA, I've been collecting unwanted horses and now I've got a plenty strong herd going. $200 for your first one $50 for each after that. You must process them here or take them but you can't leave what you've shot. No young horses, I like to save the foals for my freezer.”
Kimberley Cote, who cares for horses at the Brighter Days Horse Refuge in the Hill Country near Pipe Creek said that when she first saw the post, her reaction was emotional.
“Initially, when I first saw it, I started crying and couldn't look at it anymore. I was horrified,” said Cote, who noted that the post spread quickly, with horse lovers trying to discern whether there was any truth to it. "You have to be not right in the head to even think that was funny. As a joke, it's not funny.”
Cote said that the thought of shooting horses provoked strong reactions from many of her friends.
"They wanted them to be shot like they wanted to shoot the horses. They wanted them to be arrested and locked up for the rest of their life, so yeah, everybody was outraged," Cote said.
The post was bogus. Here's what KENS 5 has been able to Verify:
The offensive message has been removed from the San Antonio Craigslist website.
The Facebook profiles listed in the post have disappeared from public view as well, and horse advocates quickly discovered some version of this story has been making the rounds on the internet for years.
Snopes, a website dedicated to debunking hoaxes, has exposed this as a fraud in the past.
Cote added the truth is that, here in Texas, people don't shoot horses, they love them.
"We love them and they love us and for anybody to hurt them in any way is just horrifying," Cote said.
Brighter Days is always looking for support from the community to help care for the horses that have been rescued from often deplorable conditions. Cote said that there are many tasks for horse-loving volunteers to take on, and the jobs need to be done every single day.