Beverly Lavin got a call from her brother Wednesday morning, saying her beloved horse Kagan was lying in its pasture. She knew right away something was wrong.
The 31-year-old Arabian horse was shot in the head around 10 p.m. Tuesday at Lavin's East Montpelier farm. Her brother Wayne Mailhotte lives at the farm and heard what he thought was an extended Fourth of July celebration.
"I heard some firecrackers," he said. "Sounded like firecrackers. Shortly after I could hear horses running around."
But it was actually gunfire.
"There was a hole further down and that turned out to be the entrance hole from a bullet and the gash on the front was the exit. The bullet shattered his skull," Lavin said.
There were two other horses and a pony in the field that night. Lavin says one horse, Sneakers, is still in shock. Sneakers suffered pulled muscles and a gash on his head during the shooting spree. Lavin found him hiding in the corner of the barn the next morning.
"He's still not the happiest camper around," she said. "He's been here for two months and he had bonded so closely with Kagan."
Vermont State police went to the farm Wednesday morning to check out the scene. And although owners think Kagan was shot with a .22, no evidence has been found yet to prove that.
"We were hoping (the bullet) lodged in those trees there but it didn't. It's probably out in the wheat field," Lavin said.
A local veterinarian confirmed the horse was shot and likely died instantly.
Lavin is most upset for her young granddaughter Katie. She gave Kagan to her as a gift.
"Telling him she's mommy. She says, 'mommy loves you Kagan,'" Lavin said. "To think my granddaughter and how devastated she's going to be that her baby's gone."
Now the family hopes police find who pulled the trigger or that someone comes forward with information about this crime that killed a family pet.
"It's not going to be the same at all," Lavin said.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Vermont State Police in Middlesex at 802-229-9191.
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