It's one of the most despicable crimes a person could do to an animal: abuse it. Someone stole a top notch professional rodeo horse in Ft. Pierre last weekend and did just that. Now its owner wants those responsible brought to justice.
Wendy Halweg is a member of the Women's Professional Rodeo Association. She and her horse Dually are two of the best in barrel racing.
"She's done very well with him and is having a great year this year," Travis Bechen said.
Halweg recently won in North Dakota and was looking forward to another big rodeo next weekend. But sadly, her horse Dually is being treated for serious injuries.
Authorities say over the Fourth of July weekend, someone stole Dually from the Ft. Pierre fairgrounds and tortured it. Halweg's boyfriend says Wendy is too upset to talk about it, because she can't imagine how anyone could abuse an animal.
"Dually meant a lot to her, they're best friends, they travel together thousands of miles and they work as a team I guess, they are more or less a team sport Dually is a great athlete and both of them working together are a winning team," Bechen said.
That winning team now wants those responsible to face charges and for Dually to get better.
"If anyone saw anything to please contact the Stanley County sheriff's department and just give them any information they can," Bechen said.
The South Dakota Rodeo Association is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. There is a fund set up to help pay the vet bill. You can donate to:
First National Bank South Dakota
Wendy Halweg-Dually's Benefit Account
210 N. Lawler
PO Box 1366
Mitchell SD 57301
or PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org