Catherine and Mozart, two miniature horses were once therapy animals that provided their services to countless victims of tragedy. But that all changed when violence claimed their own lives.
The horses, owned by Florida non-profit Gentle Carousel and visitors to victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and the Pulse Nightclub massacre, were attacked by a pack of escaped vicious dogs in their own pasture.
Mozart was dead at the scene. Catherine succumbed to her injuries at a veterinary hospital 10 days later.
“It has been a very sad time for everyone who knew therapy horses Catherine and Mozart [including] the volunteers at our charity and the hospital patients they loved,” the organization’s director Debbie Garcia-Bengochea told InsideEdition.com.
The organization specializes in bringing their house-trained horses at no cost to more than 25,000 victims of traumatic events every year. All the horses are trained to be indoors and can climb stairs, ride elevators and even maneuver around hospital equipment.
Catherine, the organization’s most experienced horse at 6 years old, visited Connecticut following the shooting of Sandy Hook Elementary. In fact, she was named after one of the victims.
During the Orlando shooting tragedy at the Pulse Nightclub, the organization sent a group of horses to help ease tension among victims and first responders.
"I think one of the most challenging parts of this loss was calling families who loved and worked with Catherine and Mozart," Garcia-Bengochea said.
She said the owner of the dogs, who live nearby, has no intention of paying the horses’ veterinary bills associated with the attack.
The organization is now raising money through a GoFundMe page.