Abandoned horse shot with paintballs nearly 130 times

NEW HOLLAND, Pa. (WHTM) – Animal cruelty officers say a horse found abandoned at a stable apparently was shot with paintballs nearly 130 times.

The Lancaster County SPCA is asking for the public’s help to find the owner of the horse, an Arabian/Appaloosa mix that’s about 20 years old. Authorities said it was found at New Holland Sales Stable after a horse sale on Monday, but was not checked in for sale.

Cdm2N6BWoAEX6Oy.jpg largeKelly Smith, of Omega Horse Rescue, said some of the paintball marks were just inches from the horse’s face.

“At first, I thought, did someone paint this horse to look like an Easter egg?” Smith said. “The closer I got, I actually realized it was paintball.”

Smith gave ABC27 a video she took just minutes after rescuing the horse.

“This is awful,” she said. “It’s beyond cruel, it’s inhumane. It’s incomprehensible to me that someone could do this to a living creature.”

CdnWPV0UYAARE0t.jpg largeAn exam showed the horse has an ulcer on one eye and is blind in the other. Caretakers said she’s dramatically underweight.

“I can feel every single one of her ribs,” said Rose Nolen-Watson, an associate professor of internal medicine at the Penn Vet New Bolton Center in Chester County, where the horse is getting medical treatment.

Her caretakers have named her Lily. Nolen-Watson said her recovery will take at least two weeks.

“She’s in a lot of pain,” she said. “Every single one of the paintballs causes a bruise, and so I suspect she feels like she’s been hit by a Mack truck.”

Anyone who knows the owner or their whereabouts is asked to call the Lancaster County SPCA at 717-917-6979.

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