A quarter horse was found slaughtered recently at a breeding farm in Summerfield.
Marion County sheriff’s deputies were called to the farm, located in the 3900 block of SE 145th Street, after the owner found the dead horse. She said she boards other people’s horses, the report says.
The owner told deputies that she fed the horses on May 28 and all were accounted for. But when she returned the following day, she said, all but one of the horses came over to her to be fed. She said she went to look for the horse and found it dismembered and butchered, so she called sheriff’s deputies for help, the report says.
In March, Sumter County sheriff’s deputies were actively investigating the theft and slaughter of a mare quarter horse near Bushnell. The incident took place after the horse was taken from a pasture along State Road 471. The remains of the horse were found nearby in December.
In January, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office upped the award to $5,000 for information leading the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for killing the horse near Bushnell. That same month, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office refuted social media reports claiming horses had been slaughtered in the Sorrento area, saying they had responded to a complaint of a vehicle that fit the description of one seen in another county where the crimes took place but didn’t locate it.
In December, a warning was issued about the horse thefts after crimes were reported in Sumter, Marion and Manatee counties. It was believed that the horses were being harvested for meat in Palmetto. At the time, a photo of a suspect who was considered a person of interest in one of the Manatee County cases was released, though it wasn’t known if that person was possibly involved in any of the other horse killings.