The Herald Bulletin

December 7, 2012

Sonny, horse wounded in attack, is back home

By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — One of the horses shot Nov. 28 is back home with his owner.

Sonny, a Tennessee walker gelding, was returned to Robert Stone on Tuesday after a week-long stay at the Purdue Large Animal Hospital in West Lafayette.

The horse was treated for injuries from an unexplained gunshot wound. The shooter killed the horse’s mother, Lucy.

“He’s doing great,” Stone said. “He looks good.”

Stone is unsure if he’ll be able to ride Sonny again. He often took Sonny and Lucy for trail rides, sometimes even going downtown.

The horse has visible shotgun wounds on its chest and back. Police said two rounds of .40-caliber shells were found in Lucy after a necropsy by veterinarians at Purdue, and they believe the same weapon wounded Sonny. Bullet fragments were not removed from Sonny because of the invasive nature of that kind of surgery, said Richard Hartman, veterinarian at Purdue.

Sonny is not completely out of danger, Stone said. He treats the horse with antibiotics daily and has to drain fluid from the wound. Stone said the horse falls to his knees and is visibly pained if the wounds are touched.

Sonny seems to be healing well though, Stone said.

“They didn’t hurt his pride,” he said.

Stone said he doesn’t know why anyone would shoot his horses. Police have told him they are following some leads but nothing else. He said he suspects the shooter drove a van because of the way Sonny reacts to vans.

“I don’t have a mean bone in my body, but I don’t want to do anything I’ll regret,” Stone said. “I actually just want to know why they shot him. I really don’t want to be anywhere near someone who would do something like that, to be honest.”

Stone’s friends organized an emergency fundraiser Sunday in Alexandria to help pay for Sonny’s veterinary bill. Amy Dillon, one of the organizers, said about $3,800 was raised.

“We had about 50 horses and 25 motorcycles ride with us, and people were coming and going all day,” Dillon said. “It was great to see and it really helped. I think it was enough to cover getting Sonny home and then some for later visits.”

Dillon said Sonny will likely have a follow-up appointment at Purdue in about two weeks, and might need regular visits for a while.

The investigation of the shooting is ongoing, Anderson Police detective Chad Boynton said, and anyone with information is encouraged to call the Anderson Police Department at 648-6775.

Find Jack Molitor on Facebook and @J4keSteel on Twitter, or call 640-4883.