Moonpie, Beloved North Carolina Quarter Horse, Shot And Killed
GASTONIA, NC — Horse lovers — actually, animal lovers of all stripes — around the world are outraged over the death of Moonpie, a 4-year-old quarter horse shot in her paddock last weekend near Gastonia, North Carolina. The mare is a favorite in the area, and some people go out of their way to feed her apples, stroke her soft muzzle and just be in her presence as she grazed in her pasture in Gaston County.
The horse was shot at least four times, according to reports. A $2,000 reward has been raised for information leading to the culprit or culprits.
Cassie Dumas, who lives nearby, told the Gaston Gazette she heard gunshots around 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19, and she and her husband went down the road to investigate. The mare was still standing and all seemed to be fine.
“We thought, ‘Oh, we’ll probably see a dead cow in the morning,” Dumas told the newspaper. Cows are also pastured in the area.
But the next day, the horse’s owner,Travis Walden, sent her a text message and said he had found Moonpie dead Monday morning when he went to feed her.
Barbara Grammer is one of those neighbors who regularly walks near the pasture and feeds Moonpie treats. “It’s almost as like she recognized you,” Grammer said of the friendly horse.
“Why would anyone want to shoot an innocent animal,” Grammer told the Gaston Gazette as she fought tears. “People’s cows are out here, are they going to be next? Or are our children going to be next or are our dogs going to be next.”
She added the horse had no way to escape. “It’s just not right,” Grammer said.
Michele Randall, who petsits near Moonpie’s paddock, also stops by to say hello to the beloved neighborhood horse. She stopped over the weekend before the Moonpie was shot.
“She was looking right at me and now that beautiful face and those sweet eyes haunt me so,” she wrote on a Justice for Moonpie Facebook page. “It is just heartbreaking.”
Katrina Maney worries that the person or people responsible will hurt another animal or a person.
“Unbelievable how someone can be so cold hearted to hurt such a beautiful, defenseless creature,” she wrote. “I hope the sick person responsible for this is found soon.”
Any funds raised above the $2,000 reward will be donated to a local horse charity, according to the Justice for Moonpie Facebook group that Dumas and others started. Donations may be sent to Justice for Moonpie,1120 South Main St., Mt. Holly, NC 28120.
“We want to find out who did this, but we also want people that just want to help to be able to donate to a worthy cause,” Dumas wrote. “So we are looking into local Horse Rescues, to see about letting people donate on her behalf.”
More details will be posted on the Facebook page as details become available.
All photos courtesy of Justin for Moonpie