Dead horses along busy roadway raise questions

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- South Victory Street is a major roadway through the heart of one of Houston's oldest communities, Acres Homes, where generations of residents have seen what was a rural area become urbanized.

One touchstone to the past remains -- horses. They're typically kept in empty lots. Some are better cared for than others.

This weekend, two dead horses appeared alongside the busy street, blocking a sidewalk on South Victory.

Neighbors say they'd seen the animals before, pointing to a barbed-wire enclosure on a vacant lot.

Richard Jackson said he saw a tractor taking the remains from the "pasture" to the street Saturday.

Another neighbor believes some other animals were recused from the enclosure, he believes by the county. If that was the case, he questions why the dead animals were not removed at the time.

Instead, a City of Houston solid waste truck collected the remains Monday. Maurice Refro is a superintendent with the department. "We were told about it Saturday but our crews couldn't locate it. We didn't have the right address," he said.

That may have been before the remains were deposited beside the street.

They are now gone. Renfro is now investigating to see who the animal owner may be. What's surprising in the number of calls the city gets to pick up dead horses.

"You start to see a spike in reports just before or during the rodeo," he says. "People who haven't ridden their horses for a year ride them again, and the horses aren't in shape."

In the case of the two horses picked up Monday, both appear to have been underweight.
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