Horse intentionally impaled, critically injured with broken pitchfork

HARWICH, Mass. — Warning: The details in this story may be too graphic for some readers

Harwich police are searching for the person who impaled a horse with a broken pitchfork, critically injuring the animal last weekend.

Claire Bangert, owner of CB Equestrian and the horse’s trainer, received a call from a staff worker Sunday morning, alerting her to the six-year-old pony’s injury. Bangert arrived to find the horse named Scottie badly injured and immediately called police and a local veterinarian.

“It seems a pitchfork was snapped in two,” Bangert said. “And the broken, pointed end was inserted directly into his backside and came through in between his legs, the back of his abdomen where his castration site would’ve been.”

The vet sedated Scottie, as his owners, Sue and Glen Buchanan arrived at the Derby Lane barn.

The Buchanans gave the vet permission to remove the wooden weapon and prepared themselves to lose Scottie.

“Held our breath, said a prayer, and thank the lord, it did not hit any major organs,” Sue Buchanan said to Boston 25 News Monday. “He could have bled out right then, and we were thinking he was going to not make it yesterday morning.”

Scottie was rushed to a local clinic, where he survived surgery and is still recovering. The next few days will be critical in his recovery. The veterinarian will check for splinters and monitor for any developing infection.

Meanwhile, Harwich police are investigating the felony animal cruelty case. They are also stepping up their patrols near local barns, easing the fears of the many horse owners who have been inundating them with calls.

“It’s deeply disturbing, and it’s a heinous act on a defenseless animal. We can’t understand who would do something like this and why,” said Harwich Police Sgt. Aram Goshgarian. “We are out here. We are working hard to try to find and figure out who is responsible for this.”

The area is somewhat remote on a dirt road behind a residential neighborhood, but people often walk in the woods behind the barn along the power lines.

Police are asking anyone in the area with security cameras to take a look at their video for anything suspicious between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

The Buchanans say Scottie’s charming and trusting nature, along with his small size compared to the other horses, is likely what made him an easy target.

“He’s friendly. He walks right up to you. He doesn’t shy away from people,” Sue Buchanan said. “And what’s amazing about Scottie today – he’s still that horse. He’s still trusting.”

The couple is hopeful Scottie will fully recover and the person responsible will not be able to hurt another animal.

“Monster, beast, subhuman. Yeah, somebody who’s really twisted,” Sue Buchanan said of Scottie’s attacker. “We want them caught. We want them to go to jail for a really long time.”

Anyone with information is urged to call Harwich police at 508-430-7541.