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Owner of slain mini horses wants harsher penalties for owners of violent pets

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Posted at 12:29 AM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 00:32:05-05

ST. CLAIR TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- When Paul Huesing thinks about Bella and Pablo, his two miniature horses, he can't stop himself from tearing up. The equine pair were attacked and killed by dogs in December 2017, leaving Huesing and the horses' other owners to discover a grisly scene they compared to "The Walking Dead." 

"I know a lot of people say, ‘Oh, it was just an animal. It was just a horse,'" he said. "It wasn't. It was our life."

Huesing shot and killed one of the dogs when he discovered them snacking on the aftermath of the incident, but two others fled the scene and attacked another miniature horse at a neighbor's home.

That owner, Howard Campbell, spent a long night trying to save the animal's life, but a veterinarian ultimately euthanized it after deeming its injuries too severe.

The dogs' owner, Terry Foister, put them down when he learned they had killed other people's pets and pleaded guilty Tuesday to failing to restrain a dog. His penalty was a $150 fine. 

"It's gut-wrenching that something like this could happen with such a light punishment," Huesing said. "The crime doesn't fit the punishment at all."

Huesing started a petition for Ohio to implement what he calls "Bella's Law," a piece of legislation that would impose harsher penalties on people whose pets maim and kill.

"Right now, I'm channeling all my frustrating and energy into working on the legislation and getting this stuff right so it doesn't happen to somebody else," he said.