Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pit Bulls Kill Miniature Horse Donated To Cancer-Stricken Child

AMARILLO -- A miniature horse given to a boy with brain cancer by the Make-A-Wish Foundation was killed by a pair of pit bulls who were found roaming in his yard, authorities said.

The 31-inch tall horse, Anniversary, was donated by the foundation to 3-year-old Christian Vasquez in late August.

Christian, who was diagnosed in January with a malignant form of brain cancer, received a pull cart, a blanket, a halter and a bridle set from the foundation on Saturday, said Jelaine Workman, executive director for the foundation's Amarillo chapter.

Two days later, Anniversary was found dead on his property in Pampa by Christian's father, Raul Vasquez.

The father was nearly attacked by the dogs but managed to climb a tree and call 911 on his cell phone.

One of the dogs was captured by authorities and remains in custody at the Pampa animal pound, while the other escaped and remained on the loose, Gray County Sheriff Don Copeland said.

"I was scared to death," said Raul Vasquez, 41. "They killed Anniversary, and I thought they would kill me too."

It was unclear how the dogs entered the property, which is surrounded by a 4 1/2-foot-high fence.

Workman said the foundation won't be able to supply a second horse but was getting calls from residents who wanted to donate money for a new one.

Anniversary cost $1,300, and the foundation included free feed, training and veterinary care for a year in its gift.

"This horse was beautiful," Workman said. "It just makes me angry that people allow their dogs to run on the loose."

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