Three days after being mauled by two pit bull dogs in his stall at O.J. Watson Park, Storm the pony is on the mend and expected to survive, his doctor says.
"He was in pretty bad shape, (but) so far, so good," said veterinarian Jenny Sullivan, who is volunteering her services to treat the horse, which is owned by the city and provides rides to children at the park.
"I'm imagining there are a lot of kids out there that these are the only horses they'll ever get to see," Sullivan said.
Storm was attacked by two pit bulls in the park's pony shelter Saturday, city officials said. He suffered serious injuries to his flank, neck and face in the attack, which occurred at about 7:30 a.m.
The pony was rescued by volleyball players who were at the park preparing for a tournament, officials said.
They intervened after hearing the noise of the attack coming from inside the shelter, which houses seven ponies.
Sullivan, of the Blair Doon Veterinary Hospital in southeast Wichita, said the most obvious wound Storm suffered was a large, triangular gash that peeled back a patch of skin on his side.
But she said she's been more concerned about smaller wounds around his neck and mouth, which could restrict his ability to breathe and swallow if they become infected.
He's being fed "slurry soup" made from food pellets and green grass, which is easier for him to chew than hay, she said.
"I wish he was eating better, but he's eating enough," Sullivan said.
It took 30 to 40 staples to close his wounds. On Monday, Storm was heavily medicated and wrapped in bandages and ice packs around his midsection and head to keep the swelling down.
Sullivan is donating her services, valued at about $2,500, to care for the pony. Storm is expected to be at the veterinary hospital for about two weeks, and it will probably be a month to six weeks before he can return to his place in the pony ride, she said.
City officials said it was not known how the two pit bulls entered the shelter, which has been in use for 30 years.
Police have identified the dogs' owner, and the incident is under investigation. The dogs are being held by the Police Department's Animal Services division.