Reward Offered for Information on Lily's Abusers

Reward Offered for Information on Lily's Abusers

Lily, a 20-year-old Appaloosa/Arabian-cross mare was shot an estimated 130 times with a paintball gun.

Photo: University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center

While she recovers from eye surgery, investigators in Pennsylvania hope the a cash reward will help them find whomever who pelted an elderly mare, now called Lily, with a paintball gun, then abandoned her at the New Holland Sales Barn.

On March 14, the 20-year-old Appaloosa/Arabian-cross mare was discovered in a stall at the New Holland auction barn. The horse had been shot an estimated 130 times with a paintball gun. Rescuers from the Omega Horse Rescue, in Airville, Pennsylvania, brought Lily to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, where Rose Nolen-Walston, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, associate professor of large animal internal medicine, assessed her condition.

“She is about 100 pounds underweight, is in blind in one eye, and has a big ulcer in the other eye,” Nolen-Walston said. “She is very, very sore from being shot with the paintballs.”

On March 17, Lily underwent surgery to remove her blind right eye, said Nikki Scherrer, DVM, an ophthalmology resident at the New Bolton Center. Surgeons also studied cells from the ulcer in Lily’s left eye and found no signs of infection, she said.

“We did a debridement procedure to help stimulate healing, which means we removed the cells that were no longer healthy,” Scherrer explained. “We ended up removing almost the entire top layer of the cornea, (and) because the ulcer was so big we decided to place a catheter to help medicate her, which will be a more comfortable way for us to give her medication.”

Louisa Shepard, communications specialist, for the New Bolton Center, said that both procedures took about an hour. “Lily is resting comfortably in her stall in the Moran Critical Care Center at New Bolton Center,” Shepard said. “She remains in quarantine in the isolation wing.”

While the mare recovers, Kelly Smith, of Omega Horse Rescue, said that an anonymous donor, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and the Humane Society of the United States, are offering a combined $10,000 cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for maltreating the horse.

Anyone with information about the case should call the Lancaster County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at 717/917-6979 or e-mail

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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