Local News

Animal attacks have eastern Wake pet owners on edge

Posted March 18, 2012 2:59 p.m. EDT
Updated March 18, 2012 11:07 p.m. EDT

— A vicious attack on a miniature horse last week, coming just days after a wild animal seriously injured a chocolate lab, has animal owners in eastern Wake County on the lookout.

Leslie and Ken Presson's miniature horse named Mr. Butters was attacked a few feet from their Clayton home last Monday morning. 

Leslie Presson was home at the time but didn't hear anything. The first the couple knew of the attack was when they found the horse covered in blood.

"This was an unlucky little horse that sustained a lot of trauma," said equine surgeon Matthew Gerard, with the North Carolina State University Animal Veterinary Center.

Even the horse's blanket was torn apart. "These straps are triple Velcro, very hard to open. This one was completely broken," Ken Presson said.

The couple rushed Mr. Butters to the N.C. State veterinary hospital. 

Veterinarians say the miniature horse lost about 25 percent of his blood, necessitating a transfusion. The horse is on IV antibiotics to prevent its wounds from getting infected. It is expected to take two to three months to recover.

"He's very special to us," Leslie Presson said.

The Pressons have suspicions about what attacked their miniature horse.

A day later, Ken Presson saw two dogs leaving the woods near the house and heading toward the area where Mr. Butters was attacked.

"My guess is they were coming back to finish the job," he said.

It's not clear if the incident is related to the attack by a wild animal on two dogs in a pen outside a Wendell home on March 10. A chocolate lab was seriously injured. Its owners believe it was attacked by coyotes.

North Carolina wildlife officials say they have not seen a big increase in the number of coyote sightings.

They urged people to keep their small pets indoors as a precaution.