AVONDALE, Colorado — A Colorado family was devastated when they found a beloved pet horse they’d had for more than two decades had been killed in their barn overnight and dismembered, police said.
Rancher Orlando Maez told the Pueblo Chieftain that he made the grisly discovery early Friday when he came to the barn and discovered the butchered remains of 22-year-old Nickel, with the meat neatly stripped from the bones.
He said he believed the horse had been killed for its meat. Also missing was the horse’s heart and liver.
“Nickel was special to me. This is heartbreaking and it’s taken a real toll on me,” said Maez’s daughter, Brittany Gutierrez, 28. “I’ve never heard of something like this. I mean, who would do this to someone’s pet?”
It appeared the culprits got onto the Maez property by cutting a front-gate lock. A lock on a semi-trailer on the property had also been cut, and a section of a fence had been knocked down.
As the property is large and isolated, no one heard anything out of the ordinary, Orlando Maez said.
He said he believes Nickel was targeted because she “doesn’t easily move around,” as she suffers from selenium poisoning.
“That’s probably why they chose her,” he said.
The Pueblo County Sheriff’s office said it is investigating.