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Cruelty investigation underway after horse dies

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - A woman made a shocking discovery behind her home Monday. A neighbor's horse was lying unresponsive in the mud. It had died overnight. But the woman believes the death could have been prevented.
A West Valley woman makes a shocking discovery behind her home Monday. A neighbor's horse was lying unresponsive in the mud. It had died overnight. But the woman believes the death could have been prevented.

"The horse is actually lying in its own manure, it died in its own feces with his head pointing north tail this way and legs this way," Sarah Malluche said.

Malluche first noticed the horse's shocking stature back on January 22nd when she stopped by to feed it some carrots.

"The bones were sticking out, it was just really sad," she said.

Malluche immediately called West Valley Animal Control. They deemed the horse’s condition borderline cruelty and began an investigation.

"Since then we've been working with the owner, watching the horse closely, making sure that he's gaining weight," said Nathan Beckstead with West Valley Animal Control.

Officers decided not to cite the owners, rather give them some education on taking care of the horse. Officers returned to the property two weeks later and said the horse was doing better. Malluche was hopeful, until Monday morning.

"I went over and looked at it, and the horse was dead," she said tearfully.

ABC 4 informed animal control about the death, and as we were interviewing Malluche, investigators showed up at her neighbor’s home.
Malluche began talking with the officers, but the horse’s owner came out and began yelling at Sarah.

"Hey Sarah you can kiss my *** and get the news out of here too because I’ll sue them," she screamed.

Heartbroken, Malluche said she wished more would have been done to save the horse.

"Animals need our help. They can't just go down to the corner and get a snack and a 7-11 drink you know you need to feed them and care for them,” she said.

Animal control told us the owners are claiming the horse had colic and was unable to eat. Officers are now investigating the death.

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