Multiple horses stolen from Robertson County man battling brain cancer

HEARNE, Texas (KBTX) – Horse thieves have struck again in Robertson County. In March, five horses were stolen from the Welch family property in Franklin.

The thieves got away with more than a dozen horses from a ranch in Hearne this time.

What makes this situation even more heartbreaking is that the horse owner is undergoing treatment for brain cancer.

Gary Fleming says a huge part of his existence has been taken away from him.

“I love being with horses and dogs, I mean, I love animals, so it means everything to be in their presence and to be with them and it takes a lot out of you when they’re taken away from you and you are stolen,” said Fleming.

Fleming says the horses weren’t all stolen at once. He says the thefts happened sporadically over a six-month period as he was in and out of hospital for cancer treatment.

“I had to undergo surgery. I’ve had three brain tumors and I’m getting ready to start trying to go through radiation and chemo. It’s a heavy load,” Fleming said.

Fleming says his horses are a source of peace.

“They’re all because it’s so relaxing. I mean it’s a peace that you get just by being with them, I mean it’s almost indescribable because I can just walk among them and have nothing to do. Just being in their presence and that satisfies me,” Fleming said.

Fleming’s daughter, Shannah, says she hates to see her father suffer.

“It’s just hurtful because he works hard. He works all the time to be able to do things like that, to buy things like that. So he’s very emotional because, like I said, nothing is being done,” Shannah said.

According to the non-profit organization Stolen Horse International, an estimated 40,000 to 55,000 horses are stolen each year in the United States.

“Professional thieves are really good at not leaving a trail of what happened,” Metcalfe said. “Sometimes they want to make it look like the horse is out, so you spin your wheels while these horses are sold out in multiple states.”

In a KBTX.COM exclusive, Metcalfe offers advice for those who have horses or have had horses stolen in the video below.

If you have a missing horse, we encourage you to contact local law enforcement as well as Stolen Horses International. A report can be filed at www.NetPosse.com.

The Flemmings believe someone knows what’s going on and encourage them to speak up. They also call on law enforcement to bring justice to those responsible.

“Justice is when you do it. When you talk about it, it’s not done when you do it, so there are repercussions for your actions,” Flemmings said.

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