Suzette Clemens was shocked and upset when Minnesota law enforcement shot and killed two of her horses after they got away from her Faribault, Minnesota, farm early Monday morning (video below).
Roper and Frenchie, two quarter horses, escaped when a tree fell on Clemens' electric fence in the middle of the night, reports CBS Minnesota.
She was not notified by police until after the horses had been killed.
“I was shocked, shocked, you know,” said Clemens. “They didn’t even spend more than 19 minutes trying to catch them.”
Clemens will be billed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation for the removal of the dead horses.
On Monday, at 2 a.m., the horses had made it a couple hundred yards from Clemens’ home to Interstate 35.
Rice County Deputy Jason Witt and a Minnesota State Trooper unsuccessfully tried to get the horses back behind a 5-foot-high fence.
"It’s obviously a situation that we recognize will be tragic for the owners of the horses,” said Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol. “It’s not something we take lightly, but at 2 in the morning, in the dark, it’s really just a matter of time before something happens that ends in death or injury to a motorist.”
Lt. Roeske said that law enforcement did not have the "capability" to use tranquilizers.
Law enforcement officers also claimed that several vehicles almost hit the horses, but chose not to close the freeway in the middle of the night.
“I’ve seen people stop traffic for a turkey on a highway, why didn’t they do that,” asked Clemens. “Why didn’t they come get me. It just takes 10 minutes to walk here.”
Lt. Roeske implied that freeways are too dangerous to close at night: “We’ve seen firsthand how damaging and dangerous it can be. At two o’clock in the morning, in the pitch dark, it becomes a very dangerous situation for everyone involved.”
“Instead of calling animal control or coming down to my place so I could grab a bucket of grain and coax them back home, he just shot and killed them,” Clemens told the Faribault Daily News. “I’m very upset. They weren’t some wild horses, they were part of the family.”