Horse carcass with bound legs raises concerns

February 15, 2010 5:59:16 PM PST
The death of a horse in San Jacinto County is causing people to be concerned. Its legs appeared to have been bound. The animal was found a few days ago in an area of the Sam Houston National Forest in Coldspring. The question is whether the animal was killed where it was found, or dumped. Either way, it has riders spooked.

The pine trees as far as the eye can see make for a perfect horse riding environment in the Sam Houston National Forest. It attracts riders from Cold Spring, Cleveland and beyond.

Rider Deborah Baumgarten said, "It's paradise. It's our paradise. I love it."

They also love their horses, and that is why they couldn't comprehend what they found Friday on a trailhead parking area. It was the body of a young horse, with its back legs tied.

"If you wanted to kill a horse, you'd tie its back legs," said rider Kathy Owens. "It would go down and it would be dead in a short amount of time because it would colic."

It's a suspicion that probably can't be proven. The other possibility is that the horse died and its body was dumped here. Regardless, a lot of women ride these trails. Now they don't want to ride alone. So Dudney Donovan escorts them when he can.

He said, "There's quite a few women that do come out here to the trails on their own, which they should be able to."

At the local feed store, reports of animal neglect are sometimes heard on a police scanner. The economy is taking a toll on livestock and pets.

Feed store owner Dewey Lumon said, "A lot of people are like me, they feed them before they eat. But there's others that don't."

It isn't the first time animals' carcasses have been left in this forest or live animals abandoned. But more than a few people wish that it would be the last.

"I wish they would have cameras up in here showing the people that dump the animals constantly out here," said neighbor Renee Huffman.

We called the offices of the Sam Houston National Forest trying to find out when the carcass would be removed. However, because it is a federal holiday we were unable to make contact.