NACOGDOCHES - A horse was barley clinging on to life in the woods of Nacogdoches county. It was left without a name or any sign of ownership. Deputies were responding to a call about a horse stranded on county road 732, Saturday night. When they arrived, they noticed it was tied to a tree.

Sheriff Jason Bridges said the horse was so weak and malnourished, a veterinarian has to put it down. Sheriff Bridges told CBS 19 it is rare to come across stranded horses. Montrell Releford who lives in the county said it's surprising to hear an animal of that scale would be left alone.

"To think that somebody didn't care enough to give it [the horse] proper nourishment or health it needed. It's really said to hear," Releford said.

Images were posted to the sheriff office's Facebook, which left many in shock. East Texans expressed their need for justice.

CBS 19 reached out to Karen Bander who owns a horse rescue mission center in Farmsville. She said she rescued dozens of stranded horses.

"It's more humane if you can find one and take one," Bander said. "Sometimes people just drop them off here."

Bander said owning a horse isn't cheap. She said in her experience, people usually leave a horse once they realize they can't afford it. Bander said people can be ignorant and they don't know what to do with them. While the investigation is underway, Releford said he hopes the person behind this would take responsibility.

"Treat them [animals] with love and care," Releford said. "You wouldn't leave a person on the side of the road, I hope not."

There isn't much evidence to work on, however, deputies believe the person responsible lives close by to where the horse was stranded.