Cumberland authorities investigate after pet horse mauled by dogs
Posted February 18, 2014
Fayetteville, N.C. — Cumberland County Animal Control authorities are trying to determine who is responsible for dogs that attacked and killed a family's horse last week.
Splash, a miniature horse, was found gravely injured in its pasture on Feb. 9.
"When we saw him, he was just matted through and through, with blood everywhere," said Rebecca Fowler, whose 16-year-old sister, Katerina Lillich, bought the horse three years ago.
Dr. John Lauby, animal services director for Cumberland County, said the horse had bites on all four legs, and its nose and mouth were torn. One dog grabbed the horse by the nose, while another dog or dogs attacked the horse's legs, he said.
"I didn't know how much he meant to me until I lost him," Lillich said. "He was my buddy. Like, he was my first horse, my first real pet.”
Neighbors on Jenna Shane Drive told the family they saw two dogs with blood on their fur around the same time that Splash was attacked.
Lauby said an investigation is still underway to determine who owns the dogs, calling the attack a case of "irresponsible owners."
Dogs roaming in packs can become violent and "attack anything they see," he said.
When the owner is identified, Lauby said, he or she will be charged with letting animals run at large, and the dogs will be declared dangerous, which will impose restrictions on the owner, such as requiring that the dogs be in kennels.
Fowler has five children and owns a couple of dogs and eight goats, and she fears the dogs that attacked Splash will return.
"My kids haven't been able to play outside since this happened because, not only did the dogs come and kill our horse that day, they have been loose since," she said, adding that she believes the dogs should be put down.
"They clearly have a blood taste now, so they’re definitely going to come back for more," Lillich said.