INDIANAPOLIS - The Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department is investigating another report of horse hair theft, a bizarre crime in which someone breaks into farms and pastures and cuts the tails off horses.
As Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney reported Nov. 21 , the Parrish family said someone cut the tail and mane off their mini-horse, Addie.
Fifteen-year-old Kyliegh Parrish has a mitochondrial disease that makes life tough, but her three horses make life a little bit better.
“I can’t do much, but I can come out here and play with them and that helps,” Parrish said last month.
According to another incident report filed Nov. 24, Douglas Parrish said someone had cut more tail off another horse, Skeeter.
“He believed that the people may have also stolen firewood that was in the back of the field on the property,” the incident report read.
The report also included information about a suspicious vehicle, a 2003 silver Ford, seen in the area by a friend of the Parrishes.
Sgt. Amanda Goings of the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department told Kenney Wednesday she was looking into the latest report filed by the Parrish family.
Horse hair is worth thousands of dollars on the Internet as well as the black market.
It is used for jewelry, as well as “phony pony” hair extensions in horse shows, according to Jenny Tauer, executive secretary for the Indiana Quarter Horse Association.
“It’s cruel to the horse,” Tauer said last month. “If you cut their tail off, it has no way to get flies or bugs off of them.”
Kyliegh Parrish also shows Addie in 4-H halter class horse shows, where looks and grooming are just about everything.
“(Criminals) need to understand what they're doing to these kids,” Jackie Parrish, Kyliegh’s mother, said last month. “They're 4-H horses. They're their life. It's really important to have a mane and tail for judging. They're not just taking a tail -- they're taking a part these kids worked so hard for."
The Hendricks County Sheriff’s Department is also investigating horse hair thefts at another farm in Plainfield involving full-size horses.
“We will have to spend around $300-$1,000 to have hair added as an extension to her tail after the winter is over so she can have something to swat the flies in the summer,” said horse owner Denne Smith, in an email to RTV6. “Unfortunately, it isn't like human hair getting cut. It takes years to grow back.”
Smith’s quarter horse, CeCe, had 2 feet of its tail cut off.
“You can’t really show a horse without a tail,” Smith said.
The thieves face possible charges of criminal mischief, trespassing and animal cruelty.