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Horse found nearly strangled with rope put down

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A horse found nearly strangled to death earlier this week in Berkeley County died Wednesday morning after its owners decided to put the animal down because of the injuries it sustained in the incident.

Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth “Kenny” Lemaster Jr. said that the horse, which was named Catnip, succumbed to its injuries Wednesday morning.

The horse, which was owned by Kija Wilson and her husband, was found nearly strangled to death Monday after a black tow rope was placed around its neck. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department is still attempting to identify two teenage boys who were seen trespassing and running away from the property where the strangled horse was found.

Wilson said the decision to put the horse down came at about 6 a.m. Wednesday when the animal was unable to get up and continued to struggle with breathing.

“Her throat had swollen more and she was having trouble breathing, so we just decided it was about time. There was nothing we could do, and she was suffering, so we had her euthanized by a veterinarian,” Wilson said.

The animal had been in the care of a veterinarian at Valley Equine since it was discovered by Wilson and her husband. Wilson said Tuesday that a man who works on their barn chased two teenagers off the property at about 1:30 p.m. Monday after they were caught trespassing. The two teens, described as white males between 5 feet 6 and 5 feet 7 inches tall with dark hair, were seen running on Shepherdstown Road toward the Opequon Bridge.

Wilson said the rope that was strangling the horse, causing its head and tongue to swell severely, had to be cut off with a razor…

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