Another senseless shooting of a horse has occurred, ultimately taking the life of the animal. The incident happened recently in Catawba County, N.C. Bailey and Bella, both miniature horses, were grazing in their pasture by the owner’s house, when Bailey was shot at around 11:30 at night. The gunshot ultimately cost Bailey’s life. The shooting is receiving attention by press and television since Nov. 11 because Catawba County Sheriff’s Office has alerted the public.
Owner Susan Underwood found Bailey in the morning when she went out to feed the little horses. Bailey did not come right over for his feeding and when she approached him, she saw a gaping hole in his shoulder. Underwood feels horrible when she thinks about Bailey, because it was pouring rain during the night. He spent so many hours suffering in pain, chilled, shocked, and without help.
Underwood called the veterinarian as soon as she found Bailey. The vet told her after looking at Bailey that the little horse had been shot at close range and that the blast shattered the clavicle. Due to the severity of the injury, the decision was made to euthanize Bailey. She cried as she remembered Bella standing over Bailey in death before his grave was ready. She said that the two miniature horses had been inseparable ever since they were together. Underwood wondered, “How in the world could you shoot an innocent animal? How could you have that much evil in your heart?”
Since the killing of Bailey, Underwood decided to give her remaining miniature horse Bella away. Bella was lonely and mourning her companion. But mostly, Underwood was concerned that Bella might also get shot. This worry prompted her horse-owning neighbor, Karen Washburn, to move her horses away from pasture along the road to land behind the house.
Underwood said she heard a shotgun blast the night of November 1 at 11:30 p.m. but did not realize what happened until morning. Washburn also heard the blast, and heard a car taking off outside her bedroom window. Washburn said,
It’s like the most horrible, horrible thing that someone would shoot an innocent horse that’s out in its own pasture not doing anything to anybody. Someone has got to be awful cruel, you know, to do that. To just drive right up there and shoot a horse. That’s horrific.”
Underwood was told by a sheriff’s deputy that a witness said the “car that drove away was a small, gold-colored Ford that had its lights off despite it being in the middle of the night.”
Underwood hopes authorities will be able to find the person who killed her horse. She said,
I pray for that person that their hearts will be changed. That they will realize how evil and wrong it was of them.
The Catawba County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for the person who shot the miniature horse and are seeking the public’s help. Meanwhile, they have stepped up patrols throughout the area. Anyone with information about the shooting should call the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office at 828-464-5241.
Readers can view images of Bailey and Bella, as well as a couple of television videos, on highlighted links.