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FOX 13 Tampa Headlines

Dogs attack mini horses used as therapy animals

Graphic images show major wounds suffered by two mini horses in Pasco County, after the owners say dogs attacked them.

"Both horses had over 50 puncture wounds," said their owner, Ellen Schofield.

In the early hours of May 9, the horses were mauled by two of the neighbor's dogs. The dogs apparently got into the owner's paddock.

One of the mini horses, Tango, nearly lost part of its face.

"I was terrified for both of them. I was screaming, 'somebody help me,'" Schofield recalled. "Literally, his gums, lips and been were ripped from his teeth. Everything was hanging."

Since that attack, the mini horses have been recovering at the Brandon Equine Medical Center.

"They're doing quite well. We're really pleased," said Dr. Alexandra Urban.

No one knows, however, if they can go back to doing what they do best: acting as therapy horses.

"They definitely remember things and it might take some time for her," Dr. Urban said.

Meanwhile, there's another sore spot. Schofield is upset the dogs were returned to their owner, Shannon Shean. She received several citations over the incident; the fines totaling more than $1,300.

State law says there must be two or more occasions of a vicious dog attack for animal control to seize a dog.
Schofield wants that changed.

"They shouldn't get a second chance to do what they did to these animals," she said.

The dogs' owner told FOX 13 News they've never been aggressive towards people or kids, and she doesn't know what led to the attack. She added, she was going to pay Schofield's vet bills for the horses.

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