Activists, Community Upset After Dead Horse Found In Englewood Yard

Bernie Tafoya
February 17, 2020 - 11:48 am
Chicago police and Animal Care and Control are investigating after one horse was found dead and another injured Feb. 15, 2020, at a yard in the 1000 block of West 61st Street in Englewood.

Ald. Raymond Lopez via Twitter

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Many people are upset about an unusual discovery in the Englewood neighborhood over the weekend -- a dead horse. 

A horse's body was spotted Sunday in the yard of a home on West 61st Street near Carpenter Street. Animal rights activists and 15th Ward Alderman Raymond Lopez are not happy about it, but owner Leo Beltran told CBS 2 he has a license to keep horses on his property. He said he brought the old horse, named Casper, from his ranch to Chicago for treatment, but the horse died Saturday.

“I think it would have been worse if I would have left it at the ranch to die and I would have found out days later,” Beltran said. 

He said the horse's body was still in his yard Sunday because he needed help taking the animal away. 

Beltran said he has licensing to keep horses at the Englewood site, but he said people who aren’t even neighbors keep accusing him of neglect.

According to CBS 2, four nuisance animal and pet complaints were filed with 311 over the past year.

Animal rights activist Michelle Pietzke was on the scene Sunday, as Chicago Animal Care and Control investigated and a company hauled away the animal. She told CBS 2 that she wanted to cry.

“I really wanted to cry when I saw all of this today," she said. 

Pietzke came to the scene on Sunday after her friend shared with her something more disturbing than the dead horse.

“A dog that was on the property was actually eating the deceased horse,” Pietzke said.

But Beltran said that never happened.

Now, Alderman Raymond Lopez believes there should be more regulation of farm animals in the city - one that strikes a balance with the need of urban farmers.

“I think we can find a balance, but refusing to address the issue and engage in a discussion is leading to situations like this,” Lopez told CBS 2.

As of Sunday, police said the case is in the hands of Animal Care and Control. 

Meanwhile, Lopez’s proposed ordinance is in committee. It also has the backing of Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16th), whose ward includes the site where officers found the horse.