Reward offered and owners speak after two horses shot to death in Canton Township field

One animal was therapy horse for girl with autism

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A local animal group is now offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot and killed two horses in Canton Township .

Outraged by the act of animal cruelty, Peace for Pets announced the reward on Wednesday.

PAWS Ohio, based out of Cleveland, also asked the Humane Society of the United States to offer an additional $5,000.

On Sunday night, the horses were shot to death in a pasture off Central Avenue SE.

One of the animals, a 16-year-old Arabian-Mustang mix named "Ebony", was a therapy horse for many years to a 19-year-old woman with severe autism and epilepsy.

Brenda Boyce, mother of the teen and owner of the horse, said she hasn't been able to fully explain to her daughter what happened.

"She was in a world that was confusing and hard anyhow. She (Ebony) was kind of her security blanket... When we sat and tried to explain it to her yesterday, we knew it was upsetting her. She was starting to have an autistic fit," Boyce said.

The other horse, an Appaloosa named "Peaches", belonged to a 15-year-old girl.

Boyce said that girl is also devastated and her family is trying to shelter her from some of the horrific details.

Boyce's boyfriend, George Jones, is furious and urging people with information on the shooter to contact the Stark County Sheriff's Department.

"I just want to say that you're going to get caught one way or another. The police are going to catch catch you or I will," Jones said.

Bob Janson, who lives across the street from the horse field, said he heard eight gunshots Sunday night, but didn't realize the horses had been killed until the next morning.

"I pulled out in the morning to come to work and I saw these two horses laying there and I went, 'Oh my God, they took down two horses,'" Janson said.

The horses remained covered with tarps on Wednesday while the family searched for a veterinarian to remove possible bullets from the bodies.

Boyce said she was grateful to anonymous people who have come forward and offered to pay for vet and burial costs.

She hopes to train another horse to take over as her daughter's therapy horse, but she wants the callous killer to understand what he took from the family.

Fighting back tears, she said, "I just hope you get caught someday because you have to have an evil heart to do this."

Anyone with information on the horse killings should contact the Stark County Sheriff's Office at 330-430-3800.

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