A Talkeetna family is looking for answers after two of their cows were shot and killed.

Sariah Asher said she found one of their breeding Highlands, named Pegmatite, dead on Tuesday, October 31.

Pegmatite with her calf at the Alaska State Fair / Credit: Sariah Asher

"We didn’t think much about it but then the next day my husband found another cow dead,” Asher said. "At that point, we were thinking we must have some contagious disease, we have to get this animal to the vet, the carcass to the vet and find out what’s going on.”

The vet told the family their cow, Sunday, had been shot to death. Asher believes Pegmatite died the same way.

"It’s frustrating and overwhelming. Just the idea that someone would do this that people like that are out there. We live in a nice community, we have good people up here and it makes me think surely it wasn’t a local but I don’t know, can’t say,” Asher said.

The cattle have been at their pasture on Yoder Road for the past three years. Asher said she had some ponies injured and killed on that same piece of property over the past two years.

Cows in their pasture off Yoder Road / Credit: Sariah Asher

They held a small “cattle drive” to bring the remaining animals closer to their home three miles away.

"The cows weren’t here so it feels like there’s a lot of cows in this paddock,” Asher said about their new backyard bovines. “The field, when we drive down Yoder Road, it looks so sad and empty and unused."

It’s a hobby farm for the family where they raise a few Highland and Angus for beer and Jersey cows for milk. The dead cows were two of the family’s three purebred breeding Highlands.

"We lost four when we lost those two because they’re both pregnant. It’s really sad. I don’t know why they targeted the two big red cows out there,” Asher said.

She said the cows won’t return to the pasture until someone is held responsible for the crime.

"It’s a small enough town that someone saw something I’m sure. There is a reward being posted for any information. I’m hoping maybe money will make someone talk, or maybe their conscience. Somebody knows something. We don’t want this to keep happening,” she said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Alaska State Troopers.

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