Two pit bulls went on a violent rampage Thursday morning - killing one miniature horse, and seriously injuring four others.
The horses are part of Hearts and Hooves of Lubbock, a non-profit organization that brings them to people who need therapeutic healing.
"A lady knocked on my door it was about 7:50 a.m. She said ‘there are some dogs attacking your horses' so I immediately ran out," says Kauli Sparks, with Hearts and Hooves.
It was a scene Kauli Sparks was not prepared to find. Four of her miniature horses bleeding profusely from their necks, ears and hind legs - the result of a vicious pit bull attack. Sparks quickly realized one miniature was missing.
"Oreo which was one of our larger miniature horses was actually dead in the stall. I don't understand how that happened because I figure he was in the stall," says Sparks.
Kauli's husband, Darrel, found the male and female pit bulls and trapped them in the barn. We were on the scene when Animal Control found a microchip in one of the dogs identifying the owner's address.
Director of Animal Services Kevin Overstreet says they have been called out to that address in the past. The owners did sign the dogs over to be euthanized, but the Sparks say nothing can replace Oreo or the health of the other four miniatures Jolly, Pepperjack, Sparkles and Honor.
Honor in particular suffered more serious injuries.
"There were several times this morning while we were outside people were holding tarps over us that I really thought he was gone and I kept talking to him," says Sparks.
It's a recovery that is vital. For these little horses serve a big purpose in the Hearts and Hooves organization.
"We use them in therapy. We go to nursing homes and Alzheimer's units and work with handicap disabled children," says Sparks.
Now the future of the organization is up in the air as the miniatures horses that usually do the healing attempt to do just that themselves.
"To think two dogs could do this to five horses is unbelievable to me," says Sparks.
Animal Services is checking state law to find out if the dogs' owners will be held criminally responsible for this attack.
Meanwhile, Sparks expects veterinary expenses to cost thousands of dollars.
If you would like to help, a fund has been set up for the Hearts and Hooves Organization at Security State Bank or you can make donations at HF&C Feed at 7811 W. 82nd.
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