JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Clay County woman believes someone is using her horses for target practice.
"I've taken this animal out of a difficult situation only now for him to be tortured again," Debbie McDonald said of her rescue horse, Mariachi.
McDonald's brood of animals includes dogs, cats, and horses; most of which were rescues.
But after months of rehab, she believes her horses are victims once again.
"It's gotta be a fairly sick individual that takes pleasure in shooting these animals," McDonald said.
McDonald and her husband began noticing the marks, she believes are from bb gun pellets, on the horses in December.
Since then, she said there have been five or six attacks and said they're taking their toll.
"If someone hits them with those things, maybe yes, it only takes a little hair off and maybe yes, it only puts a lump there," McDonald said. "But the psycological damage it does to the horse from the pain that it doesn't know where it's coming from, it's very damaging."
With limited physical damage, the Clay County Sheriff's Office told First Coast News because the abuse isn't severe enough to be a felony, they leave it up to Animal Control to investigate.
According to a report First Coast News obtained from Animal Control, an officer visited McDonald's home April 26, taking photos of the injured horses.
McDonald was shocked when First Coast News told her the case is listed on that report as "closed."
"It's very upsetting and disturbing," McDonald said. "After the commentary they made when they were here, it was my understanding they were going to push the case."
And feeling out of ways to protect her animals, which she said are part of her family, they're willing to leave their home behind.
"We're being forced now to sell our home because we can't continue to have our animals go through this trauma," McDonald said. "When's going to come the time they actually use a real weapon instead of a BB gun?"
McDonald hopes the shooting stops before she's forced to sell her home and take on a new mortgage.
First Coast News