MINT HILL, NC (WBTV) - Bill Williamson first realized something was wrong when his horse, Joker, didn't show up for breakfast Tuesday morning.
That's when he and his son began searching their property.
"I called her and she just stood there and looked at me and I said come on lets go and I saw blood all over her nose and on her neck and I could tell she was sweating because the dogs had been chasing her," said Williamson
Williamson says this is the third time the horse has been attacked by pit bulls in the past six months.
"Six months ago, it caused me to get so excited I had a heart attack, this time everybody's been trying to keep me calm," said Williamson.
Williamson says he's cared for Joker for 32 years.
On Tuesday, it took a vet several hours and 60 stitches to stitch each gash on her mouth, ear and neck.
"Once they had her on the ground, they grabbed her neck trying to strangle her out," said Williamson.
Williamson says the first two attacks were by the same two pit bulls. They've since been euthanized.
This time, he's not sure who the two pit bulls belong to, but he says they should never have been loose.
"As far as we know they are still roaming the neighborhood and just think if this was a kid, the kid would be dead," said Williamson.
Mecklenburg County animal control is investigating who owns the dogs.
The county has a leash law requiring all dogs to be properly secured.
Owners who violate the laws could be fined between $50- $500.