Local News

Vance County investigating horse's death

Posted July 6, 2012

— Vance County Animal Control and the sheriff's office are investigating the death of a horse that was found curled up in an empty water trough in the middle of a field near Henderson Thursday night.

Authorities received a tip about a horse that was tied to the bumper of a pickup truck in the middle of a field off County Line Road with no water and no shade.

When they arrived around 9:30 p.m., they found the horse dead. Authorities took the animal to Raleigh to determine a time and cause of death.

No charges have been filed at this point. Sheriff's officials said they are still investigating.


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  • kimsstressed Jul 10, 2012

    The local paper says the horse actually drowned in the trough. It says they got the call at 9pm and by the time the got there at 9:30 the animal was deceased.

  • storchheim Jul 6, 2012

    Rocknhorse, perfect approach. I'll remember that.

  • kellypsnll Jul 6, 2012

    I just don't get it. How can someone own such a magnificent creature and not take care of it. I do not own a horse because I know how much time, money, and upkeep go with it. Anyone who owns one understands this. If you can't do any of those 3, sell the horse to someone who can. Such a sad story.

  • gopack10 Jul 6, 2012

    Can the person from IBM who posted about the geese earlier this morning please give an update. In order to help the geese we need a building location and telephone number.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 6, 2012

    Hi Rocknhorse -

    We take empty 2 liter soda bottles, scald them out, fill them 3/4 full with water and freeze them. Then we put those in the water troughs to cool the water. Of course, you have to replace them several times a day, but our animals are worth it.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 6, 2012

    Curled up "in" a water trough? How large was the horse, and the water trough cause I can't imagine a full sized horse getting inside a trough.

    Sounds strange, but that it was reported tied to the bumper of a truck with no shade or water, and then later found dead tells me also that it took the authorities way too long to get to the horse to begin with.

    Poor thing! Praying someone has to answer for this.

  • Rocknhorse Jul 6, 2012

    This story really breaks my heart! I just can't imagine how much misery that horse was in before he climbed into the water trough, probably trying to muster any coolness he could find. We keep 3 water troughs out for our horses. We dump them, wash them and refill with fresh water, topping them off several times daily (cold water to the bottom to let the warm water over run and even dumping ice in to reduce the temp but not make it "cold"). I don't understand having an animal and NOT taking care of it. So very sad!

  • Rocknhorse Jul 6, 2012

    I hear what you are saying, storchheim! And I can understand the fear. General rule of thumb, a horse owner LOVES talking about their horse and appreciates when people admire them. I've told people before, if you can easily find the owner, go up to them and say, "I drive past your horses every day (or whatever) and really love seeing them. ..." That will give you a good indication if the person will be responsive to the next statement, "I noticed that one looks sick, is he ok?" I've dont this myself and it was received well. If the owner seems gruff and offended that you stop by, then move on and make the call.

    BTW, my pony was a $5 purchase by my son. (my daughter got a mini mule for the same price). After vet bills, that pony is a $2500 animal. BUT he's happy, healthy and brings much joy to the family! We almost had to put him down, but thankfully, he managed to pull through. I love my critters something fierce!

  • storchheim Jul 6, 2012

    Rocknhorse, glad you saved the pony. I've had horses too and the vet bills are not insignificant.

    I'd hesitate to ask about the horses of someone I didn't know, for fear of meeting anger or even violence. Maybe the best thing to do is get to know your neighbors, at least to the point where you can approach each other with concerns, and look out for each other's families and property.

  • Rocknhorse Jul 6, 2012

    I'm a horse owner. Over time, I have had horses get "down and out" for one reason or another. Sometimes, it happens and it takes a while to get the horse back to normal. We got a pony and things were great for the first few months. Then he started with diarhea. Vet came out, we tried some things. Didn't work. Tried something else. Didn't work.... continued for months. A neighbor called animal control on us. I showed the receipts of vet care, explained the dilemma and what actions we'd been taking. Finally figured out what and he is now healthy and ALIVE. I do wish the neighbor had approached me rather than call animal control. I would have been happy to explain (esp considering 5 others were the picture of health including one well into his 30s). But after talking w/AC, they documented and said all was well.

    Bottom line, if you suspect an animal is being mistreated/neglected, ask the owner or call AC. Worst case, there's a reason. Best case, you save a life.