Ashland, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a horse was shot in Ashland just before Thanksgiving.
Deputies said the incident happened on Nov. 21 in the 1300 block of Farrington Road.
Investigators are asking for help identifying any possible hunters or people practicing shooting near that area.
The horse’s owners believe the 24-year old quarter horse named Penny was playing in the field between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8:36 a.m. when the shooting happened.
The family describes hearing gunshots near the house from hunters. When they arrived home, they noticed the horse was acting differently.
“I saw blood trickle down her side,” Alexander Gaudino, Penny’s caretaker said. “We thought she had run into some barbed wire; it turns out it was a gunshot wound.”
“We walked over there and she wouldn’t move,” Gaudino said. “We were in complete shock.”
They called their local veterinarian from the Woodside Equine Clinic. The vet said the bullet went through her side and hit her lung.
“There is still fluid around her lungs and her heart,” Gaudino said, adding that she takes antibiotics to help with the pain.
“We don’t know if she’s going to make it or not,” Gaudino told 8News.
The family said they thought she was dying on Thanksgiving after she didn’t move for hours. But, thankfully, she got up soon after the family started digging a hole for her.
“It was a roller coaster from the beginning,” Gaudino said. “Forty buzzards flying over her head circling as she lay there giving her last breaths. It’s a Thanksgiving miracle that she stood back up and she’s still here today.”
The Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this incident as an animal cruelty matter. The sheriff’s office reminds “all persons handling firearms practice safe measures and always consider what lies beyond your intended target.”
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at (804) 365-6140.