Authorities put in a helicopter in the air in the search for the person responsible for fatally shooting a a 17-year-old American warmblood horse as its grazed in its pasture in Santa Rosa, California.
Police found no sign of the culprit.
A $US5000 reward has now been offered over the shooting of the horse, named Delta Fox, which occurred around 8.30am on Sunday.
The reward is being offered by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a national non-profit organisation, for any information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
The attack took place near Bennett Valley and Annadel State Park, where several horses had been standing in a pasture.
Using a high-caliber rifle, someone shot Delta Fox.
The wounded and terrified horse fled back to his stable, collapsed, and died.
Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies and animal control officers conducted an extensive ground and air search, involving the use of the sheriff’s helicopter, to no avail.
Under California law, anyone convicted of maliciously and intentionally maiming or killing an animal can be jailed for up to three years and fined $US20,000. In California, it is at the district attorney’s discretion whether animal cruelty is charged as a felony.
The non-profit group’s executive director, Stephen Wells, said: “Residents of Santa Rosa have a legitimate cause for concern when criminals are on the loose who could shoot a kind and gentle horse for no reason.”
Anyone with information relating to the identity of the person or persons who shot and killed Delta Fox should contact the Sonoma County Sheriff’s ofice. The Animal Legal Defense Fund can be reached at 707-795-2533, x1010.