Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18887
Classification: Mutilation/Torture, Theft
Animal: horse
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Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011

Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

POLICE investigating the death and decapitation of a family's pet pony have arrested a man.

Seven-year-old Shetland pony Trigger was reported stolen from his paddock at White Moor Allotments, near the Frog and Ferret pub, in Spennymoor, County Durham, earlier this month.

Its severed head was later found by owner, Patricia Lister, while she was out searching for the pet with friends.

Durham police yesterday confirmed that a 58-year-old man from the Spennymoor area had been arrested on suspicion of theft and animal cruelty offenses.

He was released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Further remains, believed to be Trigger, were recovered after being found by two local men who were out walking in woodland, between Spennymoor and Ferryhill.

Police said the investigation into the horse's death is ongoing and renewed an appeal for information.

PC Paul Colman, from the Spennymoor beat team, said: "Trigger's owner is relieved that the rest of his body has now been found, but remains extremely distressed about what has happened."

Ms Lister was given Trigger three years ago to replace her previous horse, which went blind. A duck, which she also kept at the allotment, was also found beheaded and three others are missing.

PC Colman said that the investigation is ongoing and urged anyone with information that could assist police to get in touch.

A cash reward has been offered to help catch those responsible for decapitating the horse.

Animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has pledged £1,000 for information leading to a conviction and several readers of The Northern Echo have donated money to the fund.

Anyone with information is asked to call Durham police on 0345-60-60-365 and ask for the Spennymoor beat team, or call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800-555-111.

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