BY LINDA BENTLEY | JULY 16, 2014
Thorstenson believes animals were poisoned
‘I feel like I’ve lost two family members’
CAVE CREEK – Sonoran News finally caught up with T.C. Thorstenson, owner of Hogs N’ Horses Saloon, last week to find out what happened to two of his buffaloes, a 9-year-old that died on July 2 and a 4-year-old that died on July 6.
Despite myriad rumors, Thorstenson said, “I think someone poisoned them.”
When asked if they could have possibly died from some sort of buffalo disease, he responded, “I don’t know yet.”
He emphatically denied either one had fallen off the top of the trailer or died of a broken neck from a fall.
And, those claiming to have photos of his buffalo dead in the arena with an apparent broken neck never materialized.
However, PETA has since stepped in and glommed on to the rumors, including the one about his long-horned steer breaking a leg from falling off the ramp leading to the top of the trailer, which Thorstenson emphatically denies ever happened.
He said PETA is responsible for 50 hits a day to his website, accusing him of cruelty to animals.
Thorstenson stated no steer has ever fallen off the ramp or broken a leg and said his animals have feed and water down on the ground and don’t have to go up to the top of the trailer to feed.
He said, “I can’t put that trailer in the arena without my animals wanting to go up there. They’re kind of like kids with a tree house and the minute they’re let into the arena where the trailer is, they rush right up that ramp. They like it up there and they have a great view from up there.”
Regarding the death of his buffaloes, Thorstenson said, “I feel like I’ve lost two family members,” which he’s raised since they were born, bottle feeding them their first year.
Thorstenson believes they “ate or drank something” but won’t know for certain until he receives the toxicology results from the state lab and said they both died of the same symptoms.
Thorstenson lamented, “I have vet bills coming out my wazoo!” He added, “I take good care of my animals,” stating he called the vet before the first one died when it exhibited diarrhea and other symptoms.
He said the second one developed the same symptoms and died just four days later.
Other than the death of his two buffaloes, Thorstenson said, “My animals are all fat and healthy,” and pointed out he’s probably the only person still alive that’s been training buffaloes for 30-40 years and asserted he does not beat his animals into submission.
He said his animals love him and these 2,000-pound animals could kill him if they chose to.
“I’m much better at taking care of livestock than I am at running a bar,” said Thorstenson.
And to set aside another rumor going around about his buffaloes being insured for $5 million, Thorstenson said, “I have never, ever in my life insured an animal.”
When asked if he had surveillance video, he said he does but they don’t work well at night when the lights are off and he turns the lights off at night to try to get along with the town.
To set the record straight, Thorstenson stated, “My steer did not break a leg. My buffalo did not fall off the trailer. My animals are not insured. I’m not cruel to my animals.”