As of this morning several area horses have been injured this week during the night while in their pastures. All are located in an area localized to hwy 14 in the Gowansville, Campobello, Greer, Holly Springs & Inman Areas spanning both Spartanburg & Greenville counties. Local Equestrian advocate Deb Messmer is organizing the information surrounding the injured animals pending investigations by animal control & police in both counties.
This is Sara. Craig Howell and his wife discovered the injuries to their horse Sara on Monday morning. Sara was 29 years old and had been a member of their family for 22 years. She was quietly grazing in her pasture next to their home when the incident occurred. Sara was stabbed repeatedly with a sharp object possibly a knife in the hip and chest areas by an unknown assailant. Her injuries and blood loss were so extensive euthanasia was the only option. The Howells are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the responsible individual.
Since Monday, there have been a rash of incidents in the area, where horses out in their fields have been attacked with sharp object and been gravely injured. To date there have been 5 horses in various locations in the Gowansville area who have similar unexplained lacerations, to date one euthanasia has been confirmed.
Currently Deb Messmer is trying to gather and consolidate information. She is asking locals and neighbors that have home surveillance cameras to check the tapes and feeds to see if you have captured anything suspicious such as trespassers, cars scoping out properties or anything out of the ordinary. If you see anything, please please get in touch with Deb Messmer at firstname.lastname@example.org & save the tapes.
11 11 19 Update:
As more information develops, this video has been brought to our attention, local Gowansville resident's home security camera recorded what appears to be a cougar / mountain lion hanging out in her driveway. Although thought to be extinct in the area, there has been evidence over the last few years indicating they may be coming back.
At this point it is unclear if DNR has ruled out that these horses have been attacked or chased by such an animals.
This story is continuing to develop, we will update with more information as it becomes available.