ELVERTA, Calif. (KTXL) -- Three horses were grazing in a pasture at Gibson Ranch County Park Sunday afternoon when the staff noticed them running around agitated.
“We went out there to investigate and we found a bunch of BB holes in them,” said Kory O'Connor, the head livestock handler for Trail Brothers, the horse riding and boarding business based in the park.
A horse named Daytona was hit twice in the chest. O’Connor said Sweetie, a 2-year-old horse, was shot five times in the hindquarters.
While the wounds were superficial, a horse’s hide is sensitive and they can easily feel flies and other insects.
Sweetie was especially affected by the attacks. Her demeanor on Tuesday was much different than it was before the weekend. O’Connor, who is also the assistant horse trainer, said he could not get near the horse, which was a marked change in personality.
"You'd go up there and pet her a couple of times and she'd be following you around," he told FOX40. "It's been completely different the past couple of days."
She will not be able to resume training for another month and there's no guarantee that the effects are not permanent.
Park rangers said there are hundreds of people in the park on a holiday weekend. Both O’Connor and officers hope someone might have seen the shooters or know who they are.
The crime is a felony.
"It's illegal to go ahead and injure, maim, torture any animal, basically, and there is state prison time associated with that,” said Sacramento County Regional Parks Sgt. Elmer Marzan.
Elverta is also lined with horse properties.
"This is a huge horse community and I really hope nothing like this happens to anybody else in this neighborhood,” O’Connor told FOX40.
Anyone with any information on the attacks can call the Sacramento County Regional Parks at 916-875-6961.