Wild horse advocates in Arizona are outraged after at least 12 horses were found shot dead in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest near Alpine.
The animals have been the focus of a legal battle between the U.S. Forest Service, which considers the horses stray livestock and animal advocates who say they date back generations and should be treated no differently than deer, elk, or any other animals that live in the area.
A court ruled in favor of the U.S. Forest Service, which has begun the process of rounding up the horses and selling them at auction.
Simone Netherlands is a wild horse advocate. She's purchased and/or adopted out 23 of the Alpine horses herself but says she can't save them all alone.
She's offering financial help to anyone willing to offer some of the horses a good home. She can be contacted through another organization she runs, the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group.
On Friday, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) said the dead horses were found near Forest Road 25 on the Alpine and Springerville Ranger Districts.
They said in a statement that they were investigating the deaths and they'd be "coordinating with the appropriate officials in support of the investigation of the deceased horses."
Officials added that they were "coordinating with agencies that have investigatory jurisdiction of livestock in Arizona."
They said that since the investigation is ongoing, they would not be releasing any further information.
The Bureau of Land Management is also investigating the fatal shooting of five horses in Nevada, even announcing a $20,000 reward to anyone with information about the deaths that occurred last November in Jakes Valley.
It's unknown at this time if the Nevada and Arizona cases are connected.
Fay Fredricks at KNXV first reported this story.