SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – An Upstate family says they had to euthanize their horse after finding the animal bleeding to death from multiple deep cuts.
According to Spartanburg County Environmental Enforcement, the horse was attacked sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.
Greenville County Animal Control says 2 other horses, on the same farm, were attacked on Thursday.
Both cases are now under investigation, but animal control hasn’t said if they are connected. Investigators also say they have limited evidence and are turning to the community for tips.
Sarah, a retired thoroughbred horsed, has lived on a pasture in Campobello for the last 22 years.
The horse belonged to Brandon Howell.
“I really loved her,” he told 7News.
On Monday morning, Dedra Howell went to go feed her son’s horse and was startled by how she found Sarah.
“She was swaying with her back legs and I’m like what’s wrong,” Dedra Howell said. “I stepped aside and looked and that’s when I saw the big wound on her hip.”
The Howell’s examined their horse and found Sarah had 4 deep cuts.
Craig Howell says the horse was stabbed in the chest area, which he believes punctured a lung.
“If it hadn’t had been for that fatal wound we might have tried to get a vet and worked on her,” he said. “But I couldn’t stand to watch her suffering and so I took it upon myself to put her down.”
Craig Howell says the horse’s injuries weren’t something he had seen before. That’s when he decided to reach out to the Department of Natural Resources.
“They looked at it and confirmed that these were wound that were not consistent with any animal attack in the state of South Carolina,” Craig Howell said.
7News spoke with a local Wildlife Biologist who agrees.
“The wounds are pretty large to be any kind of animal that we have near here or around us,” said Wildlife Biologist Pat Cloninger. “That looks like a laceration. That looks like a knife cut to me.”
The Howell’s turned to Facebook to help them get answers. That’s when they received a message that upset them.
Howell says he learned through social media that 2 other horses were attacked just 3 miles from his property.
“I’m just angry and sad that some sicko would do this,” Brandon Howell told 7News.
The Howell’s hope someone is held accountable. They worry that if someone is capable of fatally injuring a horse, they could harm a member of the public.
Greenville County Animal Control tell 7News the 2 horses attacked on Thursday were checked out by a vet and are doing fine.