Decapitated Horse Fed to Dogs: Deputies

By Olsen Ebright
|  Monday, Apr 20, 2009  |  Updated 5:49 PM EDT
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Decapitated Horse Fed to Dogs: Deputies

Jack Ziniuk

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A Southern California man is arrested in a gruesome equestrian whodunit, despite the man's pleas that dogs attacked his horse.

The owner, 64-year-old Jack Ziniuk, called deputies Sunday to report a dog attack. As a result of the alleged attack, the horse suffered seizures and had to be "put down," Ziniuk claimed.

After arriving at the scene, deputies said Ziniuk's story didn't check out. Animal Control officers arrived shortly thereafter and confirmed the deputies' findings.

What really happened, investigators say, is the horse was beaten with a sledgehammer and then decapitated with a chainsaw.

Ziniuk was arrested and booked on suspicion of cruelty to animals.

Deputies seized the chainsaw and sledgehammer, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. The animal's remains were left in a "dog-run" area as a source of food for the owner’s dogs, investigators said.

A necropsy will be conducted to determine the horse's condition at the time of decapitation.

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