HIALEAH, Fla. - Animal Recovery Mission officials are investigating after a horse was found slaughtered in Hialeah Thursday morning.
Officials said the horse was slaughtered for its meat and left to die in a field off Northwest 97th Avenue.
"Just think of your dog or your cat coming down to feed them in the morning and having them butchered for their meat, so it's pretty traumatic for the owners right now," Richard Couto of ARM said.
The horse was being held at a private stall, which used to be owned by the SPCA.
Couto said the horse was led out of her stable late Wednesday night and lured into a vacant field. He said she was then stabbed in the heart.
"It looks like a large large butcher knife or a machete," Couto said. "The animal was probably butchered alive. All of these animals are."
Jacquelyn Johnston, who works at the stall, said the horse's name was "Smart Amanda Whiz." She was just 3 years old and was considered a competitive show horse.
"I was rubbing on her nose last night. She had her head on my shoulder last night while I was giving her treats," Johnston said. "You know, it's inconceivable that somebody would come into someone's property, steal their pet and eat it."
Couto said it looks like the slaughter may be linked to two others that happened nearby because of the way the horse was killed. He said the black market for horse meat is thriving, especially in South Florida.
"It is a monstrous industry. It is a multimillion dollar industry as well," Couto said.
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