Mini horse attacked by loose dogs in Lake Helen succumbs to injuries; owner seeks help via GoFundMe page to defray medical costs

Photos for Headline Surfer / Shown above is Teddy, before and after the fatal injuries the miniature horse suffered on Dec. 16, at his Lake Helen farm by some loose dogs, that ultimately led to his passing on Christmas night at an animal hospital in Ocala.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

LAKE HELEN, Fla. -- One of God's gentlest four-legged mammals who loved being on a farm is no longer among the living, thanks to one or more dogs that had gotten loose from a nearby locale and ripped open his muzzle    with bites that Lake Helen cops believe may be the handiwork of one or pit bulls or mix breeds based on the viciousness of the attack.

And so was the horrific and cruel fate suffered by Teddy, who died Christmas night Tuesday, night nine days after he was attacked. Nobody witnessed the attack, though Lake Helen police believe pit bulls or mixed dogs on the loose in this rural community nestled in Southwest Volusia could be responsible. An investigation is ongoing. 

The mini horse's owner AnnMarie Blair, of Lake Helen who spoke with WKMG Channel 6 Orlando, credited his barn mate, Penny, a regular size horse for using her hooves to kick at the attacking dogs, apparently scaring them off, otherwise Teddy might have died right there and then in the Dec. 16 attack. Penny had bite marks on her lower legs, a testament to using her hooves. The injuries she suffered are non-life-threatening.

"I would like to see that these dogs get quarantined,” the grieving owner told WKMG reporter Jennifer Ortega. “And the pet owner has to be responsible. Don't let it happen to anyone else's dog, cat, horse -- they don't need to go through what my family is going  through right now.”

AnnMair Blair of Lake Helen talks about fatal mauling of her mini horse / Headline Surfer®And so was the horrific and cruel fate suffered by Teddy, who died Christmas night Tuesday, night nine days after he was attacked. Nobody witnessed the attack, though Lake Helen police police believe pit bulls or mixed dogs on the loose in this rural community nestled in Southwest Volusia could be responsible. An investigation is ongoing. 

The mini horse's owner AnnMarie Blair, of Lake Helen, shown here, who spoke with WKMG Channel 6 Orlando, credited his barn mate, Penny, a regular size horse, also shown here,  for using her hooves to kick at the attacking dogs, apparently scaring them off, otherwise Teddy might have died right there and then in the Dec. 16 attack.

Penny had bite marks on her lower legs, a testament to using her hooves. The injuries she suffered are non-life threatening. 

"I would like to see that these dogs get quarantined,” the grieving owner told WKMG reporter Jennifer Ortega. “And the pet owner has to be responsible. Don't let it happen to anyone else's dog, cat, horse -- they don't need to go through what my family is going  through right now.”

Based on  the extent of Teddy's wounds, police believe pit bulls or mixed dogs could be responsible, but even if the culprits are rounded up, it's too late for Teddy, though the owner thanked the medical; personnel for doing what they could for him.

"Little Teddy could not fight any longer -- he passed away," wrote Blair, in an update on a GoFundMe page. "All the doctors and nurses at the Equine Medical Center of Ocala tried everything to save him. I wanted to thank the team for everything they did to save little Teddy last night. Little Teddy is no longer in pain or suffering."

Penny and Teddy in happier timwes on their farm in Lake Helen / Headline Surfer®Teddy, the mini horse from Lake Helen, did not sdurvive the bite marks / Headline Surfer®Penny, the full-size horse, and Teddy, the miniature horse, were inseparable on their Lake Helen farm for five years. But all that changed when Teddy was attacked by one of more dogs, possible put bull or mixed breed, according to Lake Helen cops, on Dec. 16. Teddy died Christmas night.

So far, $2,085 or the original goal of $5,000 requested overall has been raised. Individual donations have ranged from $10 to $200.

Ken Sogan who donated 10 bucks, said of Teddy: "I am so sorry - but he is in heaven now!"

Marisel Smithe who gave $75, said: "Heartbreaking. Rest in peace, Teddy."

Cammie Miller, who donated $200, wrote of Teddy's demise: "Please know we care!!!"

Susan Brennan, who pledged $25 a week ago, wrote: "I'm so saddened by this. I hope Teddy makes a full recovery. Poor little guy."

Of the 49 total money donations, 18 have come since Teddy's death was announced in an update, like the $30 pledged by Adele McDonnell, who said in her message: "Rest in peace sweet Teddy. This is heartbreaking news. Prayers to your family, sweet angel."

Teddy was a rescue animal, who had enjoyed living in Lake Helen for the past five years with a regular-size horse named Penny. But Teddy's world was shattered on Dec. 16, when he was mauled by a pit bull with his stall mate, Penny and a flock of geese fighting off the dog.

Here is the preamble write-up verbatim the owner put on the GoFundMe page in the aftermath of the attack on Teddy when there was a slight hope he might survive the gruesome injuries:

Let me start with 5 years ago .I was just a little guy that didn't trust anyone because of my old owners. My forever family changed that for me . They welcomed me to their family with open hearts. They have rules on the farm some I don't like and some I can follow easy. My stall mate is one of my best friends her name Penny she is my hero she  saved my life with those annoying geese  Christmas and Ms. White that share our field. My life was complete and pretty great most people would say. Anyone that came to the Farm would give my kisses and say how handsome I was.

The opening description went into the attack, followed by this update on Teddy's care:

All the Doctors and Nurses and staff are taken good care of me but I have a lot of medical bills . I will need a lot of treatment for a while. Please know the pictures are not my best . I am on the med and getting better everyday. Mom can't wait to get me back home to hug and kiss me. I miss all of my friends on the farm mostly the goats that are next me and my stall mates you remember the super heroes . Mom says I will be beautiful to her.

If you want to make a donation to help pay Teddy's bills, here is the link to the GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/teddys-medical-bills​.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet in Daytona Beach, Florida, via HeadlineSurfer.com. Specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with dozens of journalism-industry awards.

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