The big bay 23-year-old Standardbred gelding was gentle and well-mannered, permitting anyone to come up to him. His owner Sandy Fobb bought him when she was already 43 and was fulfilling her lifelong dream of having a beautiful Standardbred horse in her life. She always considered Thunder as her special horse. When Fobb came to feed her little horse herd on Sunday around 7 a.m., Thunder was not there to greet her but his three companions came like always. Fobb was immediately frightened for her horse. Her fear was justified since Thunder was discovered dead and butchered for his meat on Monday Nov. 23. Her beloved Thunder, whom she had in her life for 15 years, became yet another unfortunate statistic in the brutal horse slaughters in the Miami-Dade area of Florida.
Fobb and husband Jeffrey are heartbroken about the loss of Thunder. They believe the culprits stole Thunder because he had no fear of people and was the biggest and most approachable of their horses.
According to Sandra Fobb, Thunder must have been taken sometime after 8 p.m. Saturday and early Sunday morning. The east side of the paddock fence was cut in two places on 147th Avenue and Thunder was simply walked out and into a trailer. Miami-Dade detectives located tire marks where Thunder was loaded and trucked away. To cover the theft, the criminal(s) tacked the fence together, perhaps in an effort to delay discovery of the theft.
Fobb told detectives that Thunder could be identified by a freeze brand on the right side of his neck. In addition, he had a lip tattoo identifying that he was a Standardbred, No. M98840. She was totally distraught when she found out her worst fears for Thunder had come true.
Richard Couto, founder and lead investigator of Animal Rescue Mission, said that stealing horses is all too common. Couto said many believe horse meat can heal cancer and enhance one’s sexual drive. He said horse meat sells for $4 to $40 a pound.
For the Fobbs, it is difficult to find comfort when some people can so easily destroy the life of a pet like this.
Authorities are investigation the slaughter of Thunder and the person(s) responsible for stealing him. Once again, the public is being asked to help with any information about those responsible for Thunder’s brutal death. Anyone that can offer help and information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477) or go to crimestoppersmiami.com and select “Give a Tip.” Also, information can be called in to Detective E. Mathis at 305-252-8311 or the MDPD’s Agricultural Patrol Unit at 786-218-8344.
The two articles include video footage of interest to this story: Missing racehorse remains found and when horse was first taken Horse stolen from Redlands property