A rescue horse named Jolean had to be put down last week after falling ill at a small horse farm in Belleville, Florida. What veterinarians found during their equine autopsy, however, was anything but normal.
“The vet who did the autopsy asked me: ”Did you pour gasoline on this horse?'” owner John Hoogerhyde told MailOnline, before adding “which I told him I would never do.” What Hoogerhyde at first thought was an insect bite turned out in fact to be an injection mark. The spot of blood, combined with the autopsy, revealed that an “unknown assailant” injected gasoline into the 17-year-old Paso Fino horse.
Hoogerhyde first saw the mark last Monday, and says that within two days, his beloved horse was left unable to stand by swelling and bloating that kept the animal in constant pain. Hoogerhyde tried to medicate the horse, which he rescued a scant 18 months ago from a “cruel” farm where the animal was abused and malnourished.
“The vet said the smell of gas when they opened Jolean up was overpowering,” Hoogerhyde said, adding that there was no way to know how much gasoline had been injected into the horse, as the corrosive chemical had eaten away at the animal’s tissue.
Hoogerhyde claims he has no idea who would have wanted to harm the horse, but the assailants didn’t stop there. A horse belonging to Hoogerhyde’s neighbor was assaulted in exactly the same manner. Leah Greenleaf says that her six-year-old horse has undergone several surgeries to remove its poisoned flesh. The horse is currently awaiting a third surgery, and it is unclear if the animal will survive.
Hoogerhyde has moved two other horses off of his property for safety. Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating the incident, but so far have turned up no clues on the farm that the owner describes as “very quiet, with no break-ins and no trouble.”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time horse abuse has been in the headlines recently. Just over a month ago, as The Inquisitr reported, thoroughbred trainer Steve Asmussen faced allegations that he abused and drugged horses for the 2014 Kentucky Derby, as well as other races.
WKMG Orlando reports that Hoogerhyde was overcome with emotion following the loss of his animal:
“Jolean was our horse, we rescued her a year and a half ago. She was a rescue from someone in Ocala who had badly beaten her. We took her. She didn’t like people. She didn’t want people at first and we trained her to be kindhearted and love humans again, complete transformation. And then a year and a half now, she’s gone. Someone took our horse from us.”
[Images via MailOnline]