Fifty horses have been poisoned by contaminated feed at a California stable. Many of them are dying in agonizing seizures that have left their owners bereft, according to a lawsuit.
A horse named Susie was the first to go, crashing through a fence, said Katie Flanigan, owner of Black Fence Farm in Clovis. Turtle, who once gave rides to wounded warriors and competed in jumping contests, stumbled, then collapsed.
Sydney Loucks, 11, told INSIDE EDITION she was getting out of the family car to go to school "and my dad told me that Olaf passed away." The loss, she said, is heartbreaking. The horse was her best friend.
Flanigan says 13 horses have died so far, caused by feed contaminated with monensin, an additive used in cattle feed, but is deadly to horses. She sued manufacturer Western Milling, alleging negligence.
The company voluntarily recalled 1,100 bags of the feed, for "potential contamination."
In a statement to IE, the firm said, "While we do not comment on pending litigation, we are always saddened at the loss of a companion animal. The potentially contaminated feed was recalled."
Flanigan says there is no hope for the other ill horses and that they, too, will eventually die.
Her stable specializes in teaching children to ride and compete in horse shows. Her business has suffered a devastating loss because of contaminated food, she said.