Authorities are investigating after a severed horse head was discovered in a grassy area in southwest Miami-Dade.
On Friday flies swarmed over the head, which was strewn on grass near the corner of Eureka Drive and Southwest 197th Avenue.
The horrific scene was too much for neighbor Henk Schorel to bear. He came upon the grisly sight on New Year’s Day.
"My wife said what is this? And we looked closer and we found a horse head,” he said.
“This is shameful,” Schorel added.
A concerned citizen reached out to Richard Couto, the founder and head investigator of the Animal Recovery Mission.
He said it seems to be an animal sacrifice issue.
Couto said ARM sees this kind of crime all too often, particularly in this area of South Florida. After examining what was left of the animal, he said he believes the horse was tortured.
"There were no bullet holes in this skull which is a concern of ARM investigators and I’m sure in law enforcement. When that is the case, these animals are usually stabbed either in the throat or in the heart and butchered alive,” he said.
Couto also thinks it's likely the horse's carcass was sold for human consumption on the black market. The illegal trade can be a lucrative one. Horses are often bought on the cheap at public auctions – to be slaughtered and sold by the pound.
"Horse meat is extremely popular throughout the holiday season, Christmas, New Year’s Eve. Possibly hundreds of horses were butchered this time of the year for the underground meat trade, so it’s a real concern of ARM’s, I’m sure the state attorney, as well as Miami-Dade metro police, who were also on site,” Couto said.
Miami-Dade Police are investigating.