A family wants answers after finding their own horse mutilated on Friday morning.
It happened near 36th Lane and Harbour Street in Pueblo County.
"I never expected anything like this," Steve Maez, the owner of the horse said.
Steve Maez says someone had cut the chain on the front gate to his property, the lock on his storage semi trailer and one of his fences.
"My first thought when I saw the fence down was that somebody had stolen her," he said.
What he found in the shed... an unimaginable horror.
"One of our horses had been butchered out," he said.
The lifeless body of his family's 22-year-old horse named Nickel, in pieces.
"There was not much left of her, let's put it that way, the front quarters were there and of course, the skeletal system was in tact but they cut all of the meat around the bones that they wanted to take," he said.
And as if, that wasn't enough... "It appears that it's for consumption the way it was cut up," he said.
Nickel was also missing her heart and her liver.
"When I saw it, it was like I couldn't believe it, I just couldn't believe it that somebody would torture an animal and do that to them," Marie Maez, the horse owner said.
Working on an absolutely horrifying story in Pueblo County about a family that came home to find their own horse mutilated earlier today. Shock, disbelief and heartbreak coming from this family who says it's like losing a child. @KOAA pic.twitter.com/D9PfcARkfP— Lena Howland (@LenaHowland) January 13, 2018
His wife Marie also, in shock.
"To know that she died in here is just an eerie feeling," Marie said as she walked inside of the shed.
With no streetlights or cameras on this county dirt road, she says it's likely this happened in the middle of the night. The closest neighbor said he didn't see or hear anything.
"Just breaks our heart because your animals are like your kids, you raise them, you feed them, you take care of them, you take them to the vet when they're sick," she said.
And they're worried about their other horse and mule still left behind on this property.
"I'm a little afraid, I mean we have other animals and if they did this to an innocent animal, what's next?" she said.
Moving forward, they're hoping neighbors will keep a closer watch.
"Somebody's out there that's doing this and they may strike again somewhere else," Maez said.
The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office confirmed a horse was found dead near 36th Lane and Harbour Rd. They say they are taking this investigation very seriously and hope to know more within the next few days. We'll hear the tragic reactions from family on @KOAA at 10. pic.twitter.com/G8lkvxf2Ss— Lena Howland (@LenaHowland) January 13, 2018
The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office says they are taking this investigation very seriously but at this point in time, there are no leads.
If you know anything, you're urged to contact their office right away at 719-583-6250.
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