Roaming horses have been a disruptive matter in Placitas before. No one knows where the horses originated and no one claims ownership. Some residents as well as members of the Wild Horse Observers Association, advocate for the horses.
However, another horse was hit by a vehicle and killed on NM 165 in Placitas, six miles east of Interstate 25. The responsible vehicle fled the scene.
Deputies of the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the latest hit-and-run. They located a couple of Jeep parts at the scene of the accident but, as yet, have no additional information.
According to sheriff’s spokesperson Lt. Keith Elder, a second deceased horse was found nearby. There is no evidence connecting the two horse deaths at this time.
While Sheriff’s Office is trying to sort out the accident, the residents have reopened the subject of free-roaming horses and their potential danger to public safety.
Sandoval County commissioner Orlando Lucero talks about another fatal car versus horse collision recently. In addition to the accidents, he has received complaints of trampling and manure problems. The growing feral horse population is a danger to private and public lands.
Lucero said, “They’re roaming the town and people have been calling me —they’re upset. At first I think they thought it was sort of cute. Now it’s become a major problem.”
He’s trying to set up a meeting with community members, tribal leaders, the state Livestock Board and the Bureau of Land Management to resolve the horse problem.
Some residents assert the horses should be considered the same as stray animals and are asking Sheriff’s Office to take action.
Sandoval County Sheriff Doug Wood said his office doesn’t have the resources or the jurisdiction.
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