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A horse had huge chunks of skin torn from its hide after it was tied to a 4x4 and dragged along a concrete road for more than 100 yards.
A witness saw the horse wandering around lost when a white Ford pick up truck pulled up alongside it in Austin, Texas.
The driver got out and tied it to the truck before driving off at speed.
Horrific: The horse suffered tears to hide and a gash above the eye after it was dragged behind the pick up truck
The witness said the horse struggled to keep up and then fell on its side and was dragged along the asphalt surface suffering horrendous tears to its hide.
Wanted: A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Mariano Resendiz Villafuerta who has been charged with animal cruelty
When the driver eventually stopped he apparently then got out and kicked the animal in the neck until it stood up, the San Antonio Express reports.
He then led the horse down the driveway of a nearby house and left it there.
Bastrop County sheriff's office has identified the driver as 43-year-old Mariano Resendiz Villafuerta and issued a warrant for his arrest.
He faces a charge of cruelty to livestock animals by tripping, a state jail felony.
The male horse, believed to be six or seven years old, had a gash above its eye as well as a torn hide and is now recovering in a shelter.
'This is something beyond horrible,' said Darla Cherry, president and executive director of Meadow Haven Horse Rescue in Nixon, where the horse is said to be doing well.
'I mostly get starved horses, emaciated horses. Those are pretty bad in their own right. But this is so horrific.'
Ms Cherry, who cares for 88 abandoned and neglected horses at Meadow Haven, said the allegations of animal cruelty are among the worst she's heard.
She said a few marks on the horse's head suggest a halter or bridle was pulled too hard in the past, and marks on the horse's back could mean a saddle was too tight. But there were no signs of injuries that were as bad as the scrape marks.
The horse isn't jittery around people and enjoys being washed and petted.
'We're going to rehabilitate him, then we'll evaluate him. If he is sound enough, we'll adopt him out,' she added.
They don't know the horse's name so Ms Cherry's husband has came up with the nickname 'Dragster'.
Recovering: The male horse, beleived to be six or seven years old, is said to be doing well at a horse rescue shelter