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Sentencing of a Horse Thief

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A little bit before Christmas in Kentucky, Curtis Bostic, a local attorney and councilman, was arrested for the illegal taking of livestock. He spent the night on the cold cement floor of the Three Forks Regional Jail, as his strange story went viral and angered a few rural Kentucky residents who demanded a petition for the hanging of the horse thief, which apparently is still legal there. However, friends of Bostic realized that the arrest was a huge mistake.

All charges were dropped when a county attorney discovered that the supposed horse thief was not stealing horses or unlawfully trespassing. Furthermore, the deputy who arrested Bostic did not have a probable cause to do so – he was simply following the gossip and did not have his facts straight.

The real story is that one of Bostic’s clients leased him the land where he lived and was arrested. He was astounded to see magnitudes of wild and starving horses trotting around on his property. The reason for this was because years ago the locals would let their horses roam loosely and take them food when they could; however, when the recession hit the people could not afford to keep up with their livestock. The result was that their horses multiplied, officials estimate that there are nearly 1,200 feral horses in that area who scrounge for whatever food they can find while most of them starve in the harsh winters. Bostic decided to rescue a few of the horses that were sick and would most definitely not survive winter. He asked his client for permission, since the land was leased to him, and he got the approval. Bostic then checked his state’s legislation to make sure he was not breaking any laws, and he found out that Kentucky’s legislation had recently passed a law stating that anyone could rescue stray horses and rehabilitate them if thought necessary.

Bostic went out to collect sick horses, with permission, and a bystander noticed his truck and called the authorities. The deputy that arrested the bona fide horse thief did not believe that Bostic had permission to be on the land nor that the law actually encouraged the humanitarian act he was committing. But, luckily charges were dropped once his story caught wind.

Rather than react distastefully and sue his aggressors, Bostic is working on protecting and caring for the sick, feral, and abandoned horses that he rescued and continues to keep on his land. He is also working with the Kentucky Humane Society to solve the overpopulation problem and provide rehabilitation for livestock in need. His Facebook video, that tells his story and brings awareness to these issues, has been viewed over 720,000 times and has inspired many to help the cause.

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