ATASCOSA COUNTY, Texas – Officials opened a criminal investigation after a horse had to be freed by Atascosa County deputies from an oil vat on Friday night.
Aside from being slightly discolored by the oil, the horse is doing fine, according to Atascosa County Animal Control. The horse is being washed daily with dish soap to remove any remaining oil from its coat.
While the animal is being cared for by its owner and animal control, county officials are investigating oil vat – or "death trap," as animal control called it on its Facebook page.
The vat was a partially buried in an oil storage tank. The horse fell in when it wandered onto someone else's property where there was an active oil pump.
The county worked with the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the state's oil and gas industry, to empty the tank on Tuesday afternoon, and it will be removed by the end of the week.
The criminal investigation is ongoing.