CRESWELL, N.C. (WNCT) – A Washington County man is taking legal action against the Red Wolf Recovery Program after his miniature horse was killed in October. Marcus Brown says the wolves are responsible for killing his family pet and injuring another horse on the property. After an investigation, Brown was told he would not be reimbursed for the animal because it was not a “commercial animal”.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Field Supervisor Pete Benjamin says a “commercial animal” is defined as either livestock or a show animal. Benjamin says his office is working to further clarify exactly what animal is responsible for the horse’s death and is also working to put a program in place to help replace or compensate families for pets that may be killed by the wolves.

Brown says his other horse is back on his property but is kept inside a barn to keep it safe. He is working with a lawyer to pursue further action against the animals he says killed the other horse.

Benjamin says despite what Brown’s family was told previously, there is a very drastic misconception about what people are able to do to protect their property and pets.

“Do what you need to do to protect your interests,” says Benjamin. “Just notify our office if you believe a red wolf is killed so we can further investigate.”

Brown and his mother were told there was nothing they could do if they found a wolf attacking their horse. Benjamin says that is not true. He says there are also options to have the wolves trapped and removed from the property if the animal continues to be a problem.

To learn more about how the recovery program works, click here.