Shetland Pony Brutally Attacked, Police Asking for Help

Patches suffered a brutal attack over the weekend; those with any information are urged to contact the Minidoka Sheriff’s Office. Photo via YouTube

UPDATE 9/9/15: There is a Justice for Patches Facebook group providing updates on the case and a GoFundMe for raising money for a reward for information leading to arrest of those responsible.

When I was still in college, studying to be a writer, I worked at a transcription company. One of our biggest clients was a probation department. Probation officers would send in their handwritten and voice-recorded reports and we’d transcribe them. I was responsible for proofreading the reports. One report I came across was an animal abuse case that had me in tears at my desk. I informed my supervisor that I couldn’t proofread another report like that.

Now, years later, I sit at my desk writing about animals. Most of the time the stories are lighthearted. Who doesn’t love videos of horses or fun articles about horses meeting penguins and things like that? But every once in awhile I’m reminded of the animal abuse case I had to proofread. Today is one of those days. Before you read further or watch the video below, I must warn you that this is graphic and disturbing content.

Patches, a Shetland pony belonging to Hugo Lopez and his family, was brutally attacked Saturday night in Rupert, Idaho. His attackers cut his lead rope, drug him one and a quarter miles, then cut off part of his groin, KIDK 3 reports. He was beaten so severely that a neighbor said his eyes were swollen. His knees had open wounds and he was punctured near his right flank. The attack was so severe that Patches had to be put down on Sunday morning.

Patches was very much a part of the Lopez family. “I used him to teach my kid how to behave around horses,” Lopez told KIDK 3. Patches was even known as “the neighborhood pony.”

“These horses, they depend on us,” George King of King Equestrian Center said, according to KIDK 3. “They depend on us to feed them and water them and take care of them. It’s just absolutely terrible. I don’t know; it just amazes me that people even think about doing something like that.”

The Lopez family is not only devastated over losing Patches, especially in this manner, citing the pony’s suffering as what hurts them the most.

So far, there have been no leads as to who committed this horrible act. The Minidoka Sheriff’s Office is urging those with any information to contact them at (208) 434-2324. With any luck whoever did this will soon be caught.



  1. I am so glad the word is getting out about this horrific incident. I hope all the press will find some leads and will result in the arrest and punishment of these monsters. My heart goes out to the family. Our horse is part of the family and I cannot even begin to think how horrific this must be for them.

  2. I don’t understand if they didn’t catch him then how do they know what all was done to this pony?? Nobody heard or saw something?? I hope someone will speak up or the people that did it brag about it to the wrong person and they get caught! I think the same thing should be done to the people what they did to this poor pony!! Prayers and condolences go out to the family!!!

  3. @melody from Vancouver
    This happened about 6 miles from my home. This pony was found by a neighbor and they can get a pretty good guess at what happened to this little guy by his injuries. If you would like to keep up on this they have set up a Facebook page for him. It is Justice for Patches -RIP.
    There are currently (that I know of) 3 different rewards set up for the arrest of the people who did this. HSUS has offered $20,000, a local group ( I apologize, I can’t remember the name) $1,500, and a gofundme page for over $3,000. Like I mentioned above there is more info available on the Facebook page Justice for Patches – RIP.

  4. I hope who ever did this to this poor little animal is caught and beaten so severe before going to jail. I hope there are animal lovers in there that put them down painfully. This is just stupid and this person or persons will be moving on to humans if they haven’t already. what is wrong with this world. If my animal and I caught them they would be leaving in a bag to a funeral home.

  5. It was posted this morning that the HSUS reward is unverified. I apologize for reposting that information. As far as I know the other two are real.

  6. Humans are so cruel. Who would EVER think about hurting something so cute? I hate people. We can’t even get along with one another. Humans kill humans but why hurt an a little pony. What did it EVER do to you? So very sad, so sad it hurts me inside. I hope they find these people and drag them a mile ans cut their body parts off and hit them in the head so hard it… I can’t even say it. This pony wanted to live and love. Obviously the person that treated this cute pony so very heartless that they need to permanently go away. Forever.

  7. Please find these disgusting people that are not even human..If they would do this to an innocent animal, they would do this to anyone..So sad beyond words..


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