Apr 162014
White horse painting by BZTAT

“Survivor” painting by BZTAT

Tragedy has hit way too close to home for me this week. I posted on Monday about one tragedy, and now, another one has hit even closer for me.

Animals are very special to me, and knowing that violence towards animals has direct links to violent acts towards human beings, I take any reports of animal abuse very seriously. When a heinous act of animal abuse happens in my community, it tears my heart apart. Sadly, that has happened this week.

Sunday night, two horses were maliciously gunned down in a field in rural Canton Township just south of Canton, OH where I live. The field is along a road that I frequently travel when I visit my friends who live nearby. My friends also have horses, as do many people living in this rural countryside area.

The two horses apparently bled to death and they were not discovered until the next day.

Any senseless act of violence such as this stuns the senses. But this act was particularly jarring. One of the horses was a therapy horse for a girl with autism, and the other belonged to a 15 year old girl. These two girls and their families have suffered immeasurable loss.

I am an avid pet lover and I understand the human-animal bond that exists between a human being and a pet. Even so, I recognize that the relationship between a human being and a horse takes that bond to a unique and special level. There is a soulfulness between horse and rider that rises to a level of connection that is not matched anywhere else in our world. I cannot imagine the pain of having that connection so violently and hatefully broken, especially to a young girl.

I am not one to dwell on pain and hate. It is my nature to try to do what I can to promote healing and hope. In that spirit, I am in the process of reaching out to these two families to extend a special gift to them. Both girls who have experienced such great loss will be receiving BZTAT portraits of their beloved horses to remind them of the special moments that they shared together. Certainly, this gift will not replace their beloved equine friends, nor will it take the pain away. It is one thing that I can do, however, to excise my own pain and hopefully bring some healing to these two girls. I hope that it will show them that there are more people in this world that care than there are hateful ones.

Also, as a Board Member for Peace for Pets, a local group offering Safe Haven services to pets affected by domestic violence, I am happy to announce that we are, thanks to a generous donor, offering a $1000 reward for any information leading to the conviction of the perpetrators of this crime. Any information about the crime should be directed to the Stark County Sheriff’s Office at 330-430-3800.

My hope is that the perpetrator is brought to justice so that he or she will be stopped from causing any more pain for man or beast. And I hope that the affected families will be consoled by the knowledge that their community cares.

“One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it.” -Anthropologist Margaret Mead.

Life is an Adventure!


  4 Responses to “Heartbreak in the Heartland”

  1. What goes through their heads? On the same night a cat was shot with an arrow in the spine in a suburban town about five miles from me. I don’t understand either.

  2. Thank you for all you do…it matters and you do make a difference!

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