Reward in Ga. Horse Shooting Case Increases to $7,500

By Erica Larson, News Editor, and Pat Raia

An additional anonymous donor has contributed to the reward fund developed to help law enforcement authorities identify and convict whoever is responsible for fatally shooting a Tennessee Walking Horse and wounding a Quarter Horse in Lula, Ga., last month. The reward now stands at $7,500.

Hall County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks previously said that on March 29, the horses' caretaker discovered the Walking Horse lying dead in its pasture after sustaining five gunshot wounds. The Quarter Horse was found wounded with a gunshot wound to the neck, he said, adding that the Quarter Horse is under veterinary care and is expected to recover.

If caught, those responsible for the shootings could face felony animal cruelty charges and felony damage to property charges, Wilbanks said.

On April 4 Rick Aiken, executive director of the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia (HSNG), announced that the organization had received $5,000 from an anonymous donor to establish a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the shootings.

On April 11 Julie Edwards, HSNG director of development and marketing, said, "Another individual stepped forward and wished to make a ($2,500) donation at the end of last week, bringing the total to $7,500."

Edwards noted the individual is a business person who has a "herd of six or seven rescue horses at home."

Anyone with information about the incident should call the Hall County Sheriff's Department tipline at 770/503-3232. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed via the Sheriff's Department website, Wilbanks said.

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