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Sparkle the pony will be missed

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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A Loomis family is mourning the loss of their pet pony that died after a vicious dog mauling. Amber Farman, of Loomis, whose family owned the pony said, “Part of me is angry, part of me is heartbroken. It’s so sad she had to die that way. She was a very special pony.” Sparkle, a chestnut pony described as being “very sweet and gentle,” died after being attacked and severely mauled by a neighbor’s dogs. The incident occurred in the early morning hours on Tuesday, Oct. 21. The dogs, described as a German shepherd-mix and a pit bull by Placer County Animal Control officials, were shot and killed by Amber’s husband, Forrest. According to Forrest Farman, Sparkle was 12 years old and had been owned by them since May. The pony was doted on by his four children and also by 30 children who attend the Farmans’ on-site Smart Start Preschool. Forrest Farman said the children rode and cared for Sparkle on a regular basis. “Sparkle was a huge part of our school curriculum. The school had a fundraising party last May to earn the money to buy her. She really belonged to all of us,” Amber Farman said. After the attack, the horse spent three days in intensive care at Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, suffering from numerous bite wounds. Sparkle also lost an ear in the attack. Dr. Jill Higgins, a veterinarian at the center, treated Sparkle and said her staff spent four hours suturing the pony’s “severe” bite wounds. She said it took “hundreds” of stitches to close the wounds. The animal had to be euthanized because of organ failure on Oct. 23. “This pony was torn apart. This was the worst (mauling) I’ve seen,” she said. “We did everything we could and it wasn’t enough. The owners were very committed and attached, it was really sad.” According to Forrest Farman, his son Wyatte, 6, discovered the pony in the pond at 6 a.m. on Oct. 21 and alerted his parents. Farman said he found two dogs in “attack mode,” on the shore of the pond and he shot and killed them. Farman surmises that the dogs entered his pasture from the Del Oro High School football field, which back up to both his home and the dog owner’s home. According to Tim Goffa, senior supervising animal control officer for Placer County, dispatch received a call of “dogs attacking a pony.” When officers responded they found the dogs already dead and the injured pony in the pond. Officers determined the dogs belonged to Titus Bujdei, of Loomis, who was cited for not having his dogs licensed and for “animals at large on a farm.” Goffa said the dog owner will have to appear in court at a later date. In 2005, Bujdei was cited by animal control for 21 felony counts of maiming wild Canada geese. He pleaded no contest to one felony count of cruelty. Bujdei operated a Loomis assisted living facility for seniors. Goffa said Forrest Farman was not cited for shooting the dogs because state law allows “dogs worrying or attacking livestock” to be shot. Amber Forman said that out of all her children, Wyatte is having the hardest time dealing with the loss of the pony. “He’s a real animal person,” she said. Wyatte said Sparkle liked to eat carrots and he liked to ride her. “I miss her. I’m sad and sometimes I cry a little bit,” Wyatte said.