Suspicious incident at local barn puts equestrians on alert in Loxahatchee

Posted at 12:13 AM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-11 00:32:39-04

A suspicious incident in Loxahatchee is putting local equestrians on high alert. A local woman is even hiring a security guard to overnight to watch over her horses. 

Loretta Stowell thought her gated property would be enough to secure her precious stallions. 

"I'm always concerned of people just walking up and down looking into the yards ever since the slaughter houses have been busted. I know they're out looking and I keep my eye out," said Stowell.

On Monday she noticed a man parked in a truck at the end of her street on Jenny Lane. Then two unfamiliar women were walking on her street in front of her property, gawking at her horses.

"When I was speaking to her, she had her eyes on my horses and would not get off my horses. I asked what was up and they said they were looking for properties and that really didn't set well for me because there's nothing for sale in this area," added Stowell.

The next day Stowell find out her neighbor caught intruders near her horse.

"That horse was in the stall, when she went out that horse was out of the stall," she added.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says once the homeowner called out to the suspicious person, he or she ran off. Stowell says after hearing this she is hiring a security guard to watch over her horses at night.

"If I would ever come out here and they’d be gone or slaughtered or killed, that’s just unspeakable," said Stowell.

Three Loxahatchee farms were shut down last year after an investigation into the slaughter of horses for their meat. The illegal sale of horse meat is popular in the black market where meat can sell anywhere from 4 to 40 dollars per pound. Stowell says she'll do anything to protect the horses she raised and considers family.

"They're very loving soulful animals, they have feelings beyond feelings and to think people are actually slaughtering them just to please your gut, ugh," Stowell added.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office has no suspect information on the Tuesday morning incident off 168 Terrace. Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity should report it.