Authorities in Florida are investigating after two horses were apparently injected with gasoline, killing one of them.
The horses lived on neighbouring properties in Belleview, Marion County.
One horse owner noticed unusual blood spots and an apparent puncture wound on his mare, Jolean, on June 2, around which some swelling developed.
Jolean became seriously unwell and was euthanized. A vet carried out of a post mortem examination and noticed the strong smell of gasoline. The fuel would have quickly damaged the mare’s vital organs.
A similar wound on Kate, a 6-year-old spotted saddle horse mare who lives next door, was noticed on June 4.
She remains alive, and has undergone surgery in a bid to save her life.
The owner of Jolean told local media that the veterinarian who performed the necropsy said it smelled like someone had poured a five-gallon can of gasoline on her.
The property owners have reportedly moved their horses to safer locations while Marion County deputies carry out inquiries.
The neighbors have installed surveillance equipment.
A $US1000 reward has been offered in the case.