Animal cruelty investigation: horse found shot to death, chained to tree

The horse's face has been blurred, because of the graphic nature of the photo.

The disturbing photos are being used to help solve a possible animal cruelty case. In the photos posted online by Beaufort County Animal Control, a horse is shown, shot and killed, chained to a tree on the side of a Seabrook road. Investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office hope someone can recognize the horse and identify its owner.

“Definitely, it’s very disturbing,” Above Standard Equestrian stables owner and horse trainer Gini Quade says of the photos. “You know, obviously somebody didn’t care for the horse or just had no consideration for that horse’s life and value.”

The pictures stir anger in some. “If it was malnourished, then I would consider that animal cruelty,” Quade says.

However, Quade hopes the circumstances around the horse’s death have no malicious intent.

“I guess it could have been a case, too, where the horse was in distress and they decided maybe just to dispatch the horse on their own rather than call out a vet and left the vet come out and do that,” she says.

A passerby reported seeing the horse on Wimbee Landing Road on Tuesday. A veterinarian was dispatched, finding the 12-year-old mare with symptoms of malnourishment.

“We feel strongly the horse was shot in another location driven to Wimbee Landing Road in Seabrook, tied to a tree, and that was used to pull it out of the trailer or truck used to transport it,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Capt. Bob Bromage says.

Quade urges people to turnover the horses they feel they can no longer care for to horse rescue centers, if that’s the case here.

“There’s a lot of people out there that would either take the horse in, or help in some way,” she says, “but I certainly hope that they get to the bottom of it, and that if it is a case of animal cruelty, that that person is prosecuted.”

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