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Pit bulls attack, kill horse
Owner is the first cited under new rules
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Forsyth County News

A woman was cited last week after her pit bulls attacked and killed a horse in a northwestern Forsyth County pasture.

Melissa Andrews, age not provided, of 3620 Watson Road faces one count of failure to vaccinate and two counts of animal at large, authorities said.

And thanks to an ordinance the county commission passed last month, the dogs are now classified as dangerous animals, said Forsyth County Sheriff’s Lt. David Waters.

Among other conditions, Waters said the ordinance means Andrews will have to provide the county with proof of a $50,000 surety bond on each dog if she plans to keep them.

According to Waters, a passer-by called 911 about 5 p.m. Oct. 11 after seeing the dogs attack the 14-month old horse in a pasture on Watson Road.

"When deputies responded to the location, one of the dogs was still attached to the horse’s mouth … just literally hanging on," he said.

A deputy reportedly charged the dog with his weapon drawn to get it off the horse.

Waters said the veterinarian who handles county animal services determined the some 750-pound horse had lost so much blood that it went into shock. The animal died later that night.

Waters said the dogs, which had been kept in the basement of the woman’s home, are being quarantined.

The attack occurred after they somehow got out of the basement and ran over to the pasture.

If the owner chooses to bring them home, in addition to the surety bonds, she will also have to keep them in a pen, Waters said.

The new county ordinance requires that the pen be in an enclosed area whose bottom surface is made of concrete or some other material dogs cannot dig through. The top of the pen must be covered.

In addition, the dogs will have to wear muzzles when let out for exercise or any other reason.