UPDATED: 3:45 p.m. Thursday
Editor’s note: This story contains graphic images of an injured animal.
Police say a horse that drew intense scrutiny on Facebook is being cared for appropriately, after a veterinarian inspected the animal
“Today the veterinarian arrived at the property with us,” Marathon County Chief Depury Chad Billeb told Wausau Pilot. “The person caring for the horse is doing what she is supposed to be doing. The red on the horses leg is actually salve. The salve is red in color and is making this look far worse than it is. The veterinarian said that the owner is doing as they should and that they are adequately and properly caring for the horse.”
A social media post Wednesday prompted significant concern and calls for an anti investigation into what a neighbor described as potential neglect.
Billeb said deputies were at the property, which is on River Road in Ringle, twice on Wednesday but were unable to find an available veterinarian.
A representative from Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc., said their organization was made aware of the situation on Wednesday. They, too, contacted police and helped arrange for an equine veterinarian to examine the horse on Thursday.
A neighbor, a 14-year-old girl, posted photos of the horse to Facebook with a plea for help for the animals. The girl told Wausau Pilot & Review a member of her family contacted police several days ago as their concerns for the animal’s welfare mounted.
The photos in the post, some of which were obscured by Facebook for their sensitive content, show the horse with what appears to be a large open sore. A posted video also shows the horse lifting the injured leg while standing in a pasture, struggling to put weight on the limb.
The post generated dozens of comments including several from a woman, Fawn Wojcik, who said the horse belongs to a family member. She insisted the horse had been treated with antibiotics and did not have an infection, while accusing her neighbors of lying to officials about the situation.
“Cops have been out to look at it and said we’re doing everything we can,” Wojcik wrote.
Wojcik also claimed the injury to the horse was due to a dog bite – but police say the injuries appear to be from contact with barbed wire.
“Photos of the horse posted to social media show an injury to the horse’s rear-left leg that looks bloody in nature,” a news release reads. “The injury is consistent with a cut from barbed wire fencing, an injury common to animals within this type of setting.”
The veterinarian has prescribed additional antibiotics and will follow-up in a few days to continue monitoring the injury, police said.
Wausau Pilot & Review has reached out to Wojcik for additional comment and will update this story as additional information is received.