Animal Cruelty Case Shocks Sanctuary

Horse Fatally Shot At Sanctuary For Abused Animals

Police are investigating a disturbing case of animal cruelty after the owners of a horse found the animal fatally shot in the pasture of an animal sanctuary.

The horse, a thoroughbred-Arabian cross, named Montana, lived at Friends of Phoenix, a sanctuary for abused and neglected animals in rural Hancock County, 6News' Renee Jameson reported.

The horse was shot three times about three weeks ago as she grazed in the pasture.

"I can't even begin to put into words the thought that someone would do that to a helpless animal," said Maura Slater, one of the founders of Friends of Phoenix.

Slater and Marcy Kellam started the animal rescue so that "all God's creatures could live in peace, without fear."

"Then, to have someone just come along and kill one for no apparent reason is ridiculous. It's just a senseless act," Kellam said.

When they first saw Montana, they initially thought the horse was lying down. About an hour later, they determined she was dead.

"It was about a four-day cry, because she was just such a special horse," Kellam said. "The sheep, the goats, they were all very enamored of her."

Police are investigating, but don't have any leads. With 20 acres of land and more than 100 animals to care for and feed, Slater and Kellam are not slowing down, but they are deeply troubled and would like to know who killed Montana and for what reason.

There is a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who killed the horse.

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