Jason Kandel

Community Reacts After Horse Found Dead in San Fernando Valley Street

The horse was either shot and beaten or both, police said

A tight-knit community in California's San Fernando Valley was angry after officers found a dead horse tied to a pole on a Sylmar road Saturday morning.

"It's something that you just can't [un-see] for the rest of your life," Julie Thirsten, resident, said. "It's horrible. I feel for the people who found the horse."

The area is filled with riding trails, stables and equestrian centers, and many who are a part of this community were shocked after the horse was found beaten, bloody and shot in the 11700 block of Kagel Canyon Road.

"They tied the rope to the tail and tied that rope to the telephone pole and drove off with the truck or the trailer," said LAPD Detective Eric Bixler.

The horse was either shot and beaten or both, police said. It was unknown whether the incident occurred elsewhere and then the animal was left for dead in the Sylmar street.

"It's appalling that something like that would happen, and that somebody would be that demented," said horse trainer Tommy Lowe.

Lowe said he found it unimaginable anyone would intentionally harm a horse and has never heard of a case like this.

Gail Ellis' daughter owns Haley Farms, a 5-acre horse training facility in Lake View Terrace. She said whoever owned the horse should have reached out for help if they couldn't care for it any longer. She said there are other options, such as the nonprofit Forgotten Horses Rescue in Menifee.

LAPD Animal Cruelty Task Force was investigating the case. Police said there is evidence they think will lead to an arrest but did not provide any details.

The horse was not being housed in the area.

The horse was taken to San Bernardino for a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

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