CHEYENNE - Linda Clark was devastated Saturday afternoon when she and her husband returned from the grocery store to find two pit bulls attacking their Shetland pony, Spirit.
The couple was putting away their things when a neighbor came knocking at the door to report that Spirit was down and the dogs were tearing away at her.
Linda’s daughter-in-law, Teresa Clark, said Jeff Clark immediately ran outside with the first thing he could find, a pellet gun. He fired toward the dogs and they ran off, but Spirit was already dead.
Linda Clark, an avid horse rescuer, took Spirit in when she was just a year old as a rescue animal.
"These are her babies. She saves horses that are going to go to slaughter," Teresa Clark said. "She’s had this pony forever."
She added that the entire family is beside themselves over the incident because Spirit was locked in a pen and couldn't defend herself.
“That could have been my son,” Teresa Clark said. “That could have been someone else’s son or daughter.”
Laramie County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Rich Hillegas said deputies responded to the Clark home in the 6500 block of Buttercup Drive just before 1 p.m. Saturday.
He said Jeff Clark followed the two pit bulls into a field near Whitney Road in northeast Cheyenne and kept an eye on them until deputies could wrangle them.
Hillegas said the pony had several bite and tear marks on her body and that the dogs the deputies captured had blood on them. He said deputies also spoke with a person who said her two pit bulls had jumped a 6-foot fence and escaped from her yard.
Cheyenne Animal Shelter Executive Director Rick Collord said the two pit bulls are being held at the shelter. He said the dogs n a male and female n are young, likely around two years old, and were neutered and spayed.
He said Cheyenne Animal Control officers also responded to the Clarks’ house and saw the eight-year-old pony dead in her pen.
Collord said the officers ticketed the woman searching for her dogs under the public nuisance statute.
He said he wasn’t comfortable releasing the name of the person they think is the owner because she never identified the dogs before they were taken away and hasn’t yet come in to claim them.
“The owner has three days to come claim their dogs,” he said. “They know that they are here. They haven’t come at this point.”
Collord said he wasn’t sure whether the dogs would have to be quarantined, adding that he still had to check with the Wyoming Department of Health. All dogs that bite humans are required to be quarantined for 10 days under state law. The statute does not address animal-on-animal bites, however.
If the dogs don’t have to be quarantined and the owner doesn’t pick them up in the three-day timeline, Collord said they would attempt to find animal rescue groups willing to try to find them a home.
Collord said the liability of adopting out dogs that have a history of biting would be too much for the shelter to take on.
“That can be the way pit bulls are. They are known for being friendly to people, in most cases,” Collord said. “When they pack together, whether it be pit bulls or any other dogs, dogs that we think they would never do anything like that, it is a totally different situation when they get into a pack.
“They don’t react the same as what we would see in our homes a lot of time.”
He said it can be normal for animals that have packed together to want to take down another animal, adding that is usually unneutered male dogs that behave that way.
“Somebody can keep them from doing that, but if they get one chance to do it, they would do it again,” Collord said. “You are not going to train that out of them at this point in time.”
Pit Bulls attack, kill pony - Wyoming Tribune Eagle Online
Here is the link to where they said the horse is at fault for it's own death.
Owners fighting to keep pit bulls alive - Wyoming Tribune Eagle Online