Family horse dies after attack from pit bulls

Family horse dies after attack from pit bulls
Owner of the horse and dogs
Owner of the horse and dogs

(WMC-TV) - "They're upset about it.  My wife is really upset about it," said the dogs and horse owner Marshall Ballard.

That's how Ballard said he and his family feel about the recent death of his horse named Misty.

Ballard said his three pit bulls attacked and killed the horse early Saturday afternoon.

"Evidently they chased her up into the fence and I guess when she turned into the corner, she stepped off into the net wire and when she got stuck she couldn't get out.  She couldn't defend herself anymore," he said.

It happened at Ballard's home in Desoto County near the Southwest corner of Highway 301 and 304 in Eudora.

Neighbors said they were not surprised by the incident because it has happened before.

According to Desoto County Animal Services, Ballard's dogs attacked and injured another horse belonging to Ballard two weeks ago.  

"It happened once before but we thought it was an isolated event, but they ended up doing it again," said Ballard.

Now we're told the three dogs are in the custody of animal control.

"I've never had them bark at anybody aside from being outside.  Never had them attack or try to bite anybody.  My kids roll on top of them and play with them and they never even growled at them," said Ballard.

"It shouldn't take a horse to die for somebody to do something about it.  It's's sad!" said neighbor Charlene Faulkner.This can and does happen regardless of breed, according Memphis and Shelby County Humane Society executive director Alexis Amorose in a statement responding to this specific situation without details about the animals disposition.

"Such as the level of the dogs' socialization and whether they are spayed, neutered - it is difficult to offer any insight into what led to this happening. What we can tell you is that any group of multiple dogs is susceptible to a 'pack mentality,' in which their predatory instinct is activated.

Amorose said one dog becomes agitated and predatory, and then the others follow.

"It comes down to responsible ownership and stewardship: proper containment of your dog(s) and supervision of your dog(s) with other animals and people," said Amorose.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.