Plant City, Florida -- The area along Quail Meadow Road looks peaceful and serene, but there's also a darker side to this country living. Residents say their road has become a choice spot for dumping animals -- both dead and alive.

"Yeah, it's become kind of a dumping ground for anything," says Donald Winter, whose home faces the road. "Alligators, deer, even dogs and cats."

But even after all they've seen, residents are taken aback by this latest act of dumping. The brown and white legs of a horse are lined up beside the road, and another piece of skeleton hangs on a nearby power pole.

"It just makes you sick to your stomach," says Winter.

For Lisa Harrell, a horse owner who lives in the neighborhood, photographs of the scene are particularly disturbing. "You bury a horse, you have someone bury it -- yeah, that's messed up she says."

The bones raise all sorts of questions: Was the horse butchered for meat? Is this grisly scene part of some type of religious ceremony?

On Monday afternoon, the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office was able to provide 10 News with some answers.

According to a sergeant in the Agriculture Unit, deputies first examined the carcass on March 4. At that time, they determined the horse was not butchered for meat.

Investigators speculate that the horse owner did not want to pay for someone to dig a hole, so they cut up the horse and dumped it alongside the road. And sometime after the sheriff's office visit, someone else has arranged the bones.

While parts of the puzzle are now known, two weeks after the sheriff's investigation, the horse remains, remain. And it's a part of country living people like Harrell can do without.

"It's freaking me out," she says.

The sheriff's office says they contacted the county road maintenance department to remove the carcass, but that department has no record of that call.

After 10 News inquired about the problem, we were told by the county that the carcass would be removed.

Follow 10 News Reporter KathrynBursch on twitter @Kathryn Bursch

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