Reward offered in horse's shooting death

A $5,000 reward is being offered by the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman responsible for killing one horse and wounding another.

The Humane Society announced the reward offer Wednesday after reports of last week's shooting incident at a Hall County farm on West County Line Road in Lula.

"We were approached by an individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, but was concerned about the multiple horse shootings last week and offered a donation toward a reward," Rick Aiken, executive director of the Humane Society, said in a news release.

The horses' owner, Carroll Saxon, told the AJC, "It's pretty downright sorry. I can't figure out why anyone would want to shoot a dang horse."

Two of Saxon's three horses were shot, killing one and seriously injuring the other, Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks with the Hall County Sheriff's Office said.

Saxon, who describes himself as a chicken farmer, said he found the dead animal, a triple registered Tennessee walking horse, Thursday morning in his pasture on West County Line Road in Lula, where he's farmed for 26 years.

The 15-year-old, black-and-white horse had been shot five times, Saxon said.

Another horse, a 14-year-old black quarter horse, was shot in the neck and has a 50-50 chance of surviving, Saxon said. A veterinarian was able to remove the bullet from the horse's neck, but there is still a risk of infection, he said.

A third horse and cows and chickens on the 75-acre farm were not harmed, he said.

Saxon said he never heard any shots fired, but believes it happened in the late night or early morning hours. He said his home is about a quarter-mile from where he found the dead horse.

Saxon said he hopes the bullets, along with a shell casing he found down the road from his home, will help Hall County investigators find out who shot the animals.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Investigator Scott Lilly at 770-531-6879.