The Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses program lost two of its miniature therapy horses to a tragic dog attack.
Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses is a charity which trains miniature horses to serve as therapy horses. They take the horses to visit approximately 45,000 adults and children each year in hospitals, hospice programs, assisted living programs, and other settings.
The two horses who died as a result of the attack were named Catherine and Mozart. They were part of the group of horses who traveled to Newtown, Connecticut to comfort families and victims of the Sandy Hook Killing.
Catherine and Mozart were in their pasture when a neighbor's pit bull got loose on March 6. The female pit bull had reportedly shown signs of aggression in the past, and a German Shepherd mix was also involved in the attack.
Mozart was mauled to death by the dogs. Jorge Garcia-Bengochea, owner of Gentle Carousel, woke up on Saturday morning and found that Catherine was covered in blood. Catherine was taken to a veterinarian but died about 10 days after the attack.
Both dogs have since been put down.
READ MORE: The Basics of Training the Therapy Horse
There is lots of training involved before the miniature horses can serve as therapy horses. Catherine and Mozart trained for two years. Catherine was named in honor of Catherine Hubbard, a six-year-old who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School during the 2012 shooting.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Gentle Carousel. The nonprofit has not only suffered the loss of two beloved horses, but is also facing massive veterinary bills for Catherine which are estimated to amount to $15,000.
Mozart and Catherine helped many people to heal. Their unexpected loss is a tragedy to all who were lucky enough to meet these special horses.
Have thoughts about this tragedy? Tell us in the comments below.
WATCH NOW: Wide Open Pets Goes to the BEHS Horse Expo