Conargo property owners Andrew and Karen Griffiths were shocked to find their family pet shot dead this week.CASS SAVELLIS February 15, 2013 4:54am
Andrew and Karen Griffiths with their daughters Kasey and Emma and their pet ponies before the incident.
On Tuesday morning, Conargo Store owner Karen Griffiths had to tell her daughter Kasey that her pet horse was no longer alive.
Kasey’s six year-old shetland, ‘Oates’, was found dead on the family’s small property on Jerilderie Rd, Conargo.
Deniliquin Police believe the shetland was deliberately shot with a high calibre rifle through the chest.
Mrs Griffiths said ‘‘as you could imagine’’ Kasey was absolutely devastated.
‘‘It was the worst job as a mother to try and explain the situation to her. They’ve taken a little girl’s best friend.’’
The pony was shot sometime between 9pm Monday and 9am Tuesday and was found by the family 200m from their farm house.
The family, which has lived at Conargo for 11 years, is now keeping watch on their other shetland and two thoroughbred horses.
Mrs Griffiths said people should realise that small country towns are not always safe from crime.
‘‘We want to make people aware of these acts that are going on.
‘‘You don’t think it would happen in a small country town.
‘‘People should be careful with their livestock and other pets.’’
The Griffiths are not sure why anyone would have wanted to harm the pony.
‘‘Our neighbours have had trouble with poachers, so it could be the same offenders,’’ Mrs Griffiths said.
Deniliquin Police Senior Constable Ross Currie said the killing of a pet was considered an aggravated act of animal cruelty and attracts significant penalties.
‘‘Cruelty to animals alone can attract fines of up to $5500 and/or six months in jail. Aggravated cruelty to animals can attract fines of up to $22,000 and/or two years in jail.
‘‘Plus you have potential firearms offences and, if you are trespassing on private property, other fines.’’
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