$5,000 Reward Offered for Information Leading to Arrest of Horse KillerPosted on September 10, 2014
For immediate release:
Lisa Franzetta, ALDF
Megan Backus, ALDF
SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator(s) who allegedly shot and killed a pony this past weekend. According to media reports, the 16 year-old blond pony, Misty, was found bleeding in a pasture by a passing cyclist in rural Santa Rosa near Crane Creek Regional Park. The cyclist reported the injured pony to her owner, Robert Sapiane. Misty, a family pet for Sapiane’s two young daughters, died minutes later.
The attack likely took place in the middle of the night. The Press Democrat reports that an area check by local law enforcement revealed a neighbor who heard what sounded like a gunshot at midnight, implying that Misty may have suffered a very slow and painful death. Misty’s body was collected by Animal Control and sent to U.C. Davis for necropsy to officially establish her cause of death.
Under California Penal Code § 597(a) any person convicted of maliciously and intentionally maiming or killing an animal can be imprisoned for up to three years in county jail and/or fined $20,000 for felony animal cruelty. In California, it is at the DA’s discretion whether animal cruelty is charged as a felony. A misdemeanor charge would bring up to one year imprisonment and/or a $20,000 fine.
This would not be the first horse shot and killed maliciously in Sonoma County—two years ago, a horse named Delta Fox was shot and killed in the hills above Bennett Valley. ALDF also offered a reward in that case.
“Anyone who could shoot a kind and gentle horse for no reason is not only breaking the law but is a menace to society,” says ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells. “Abusers who harm helpless animals often go on to victimize people as well, and we mean to see that this perpetrator is brought to justice.”
If you have information relating to the identity of the person or persons who shot and killed a horse near Crane Creek in Santa Rosa, CA, please contact the Animal Legal Defense Fund at 707-795-2533, x1010.
The Sheriff’s Office Property Crimes Unit is investigating the case.