Police probing attack on horses near Mt. Airy

November 13, 1993|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,Staff Writer

State police are investigating whether three horses found with unexplained bleeding and swelling on a Frederick County farm recently are related to a string of horse mutilation attacks.

"We're not saying the incidents are related at this point. But they do appear similar," said Maryland State Police spokesman Mike McKelvin.

"It's so bizarre, I don't know what to think," said Susan Doll, operator of the Wind Song Arabian Horse Farm, located near Mount Airy in Frederick County.

On Nov. 3, Mrs. Doll said a brood mare -- a female horse used for breeding -- was found in a pasture with profuse bleeding around the genitals. The horse also had marks on its flanks that "looked like whip marks," Mrs. Doll said.

Mrs. Doll, who has been breeding and boarding horses at the farm for eight years, said the horse bled for several days.

A second mare in the pasture was also found with the whip-like marks on its flanks, she said.

Lee E. Miller, the veterinarian who inspected the horses, found that the one with genital bleeding also had a dilated cervix. The veterinarian could not determine why the horse was dilated or explain the marks on the horses' flanks, police said.

The veterinarian could find no evidence the horses had been sexually molested, said Mr. McKelvin.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Doll found another mare with multiple cuts and bruises around the legs, and swelling on both sides of its rump and stomach. She inspected the corral the horse had been kept in overnight, located about 400 feet from the main house. She could find no signs that other horses had been involved in a kicking fight.

Police have been investigating a string of seven horse attacks, reported between June and mid-October. All of the attacks have occurred at night in Carroll, Howard, Frederick and Prince George's counties. All but one of the horses attacked were mares.

In five of the incidents, the animals genitals were cut with what police and veterinarians believe was a sharp knife. In the first two incidents, which occurred in early June on a Frederick farm, two horses were sexually molested. Two horses have been destroyed as a result of their injuries.

Police say horse owners who believe their animals have been attacked can help the investigation by preserving all evidence at the crime scene and having a veterinarian conduct an inspection.

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