Horse shot in Anza

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Diane Sieker photo

The apparent execution of a horse in the north Bautista Road area has shocked and sickened the small rural community of Anza.

The pretty black mare named CR Mystic Dream, nicknamed Missy, was turned out to pasture in the early morning hours Tuesday, June 2, with two other horses. She was found dead by her owner Diane Nilson Truxillo sometime after 8:30 a. m. It appeared that the animal had been shot between her eyes; she died instantly.

“She was in the same paddock with my bay Arabian mare and my friend’s chestnut Belgian cross horse. Missy had to have been targeted,” Truxillo said.

The mare was in perfect health and excellent condition before her untimely death, she said. Truxillo is a professional horsewoman with decades of experience and a natural ability to handle and understand these animals.

Riverside County sheriffs were called, and Deputy Craner responded and took a report. A local veterinarian was consulted and determined that the cause of death may have been caused by a blast from a captive bolt gun.

A captive bolt gun kills the animal in a humane manner. This device has a steel bolt that is powered by either compressed air or a blank cartridge. The bolt has the same effect on the animal as a firearm with a live bullet. After striking a shallow but forceful blow on the forehead of the animal, spring tension causes the bolt to recoil back into the barrel. There is no bullet left in the animal, nor any exit wound. These guns are commonly used in the meat industry.

According to the vet report, “Upon arrival, the horse was down in the middle of the pasture, deceased. Examination of the head revealed a round 4 cm diameter hole located at the intersection of 2 lines drawn from ear to opposite eye. Radiographs did not reveal a bullet. There were no signs of struggle or other bodily injury to the horse. Examination of the horse’s corral did not reveal any structures capable of causing such an injury.”

Truxillo immediately took to social media to express her outrage and horror. The Facebook community responded with sympathy, shock and helpful tips.

“Local cattle ranchers don’t use bolts to slaughter, but this is someone who probably has worked in the slaughter industry,” cattle rancher Steve Silkotch said.

Truxillo’s son Johnathan Schmidt is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator. A GoFundMe fundraiser has so far generated over $2,000.

Tips are also steadily coming into Schmidt, he said.

“There have been a few names dropped, but we won’t announce them without evidence. The reward continues to grow, and we know without a doubt someone knows something,” Schmidt said.

To view and donate to the reward fund, visit https://gf.me/u/x6tyqk.

The investigation is ongoing, and anyone with more information on this case, #D201540023, is encouraged to contact Deputy Craner at the Hemet Sheriff’s Station by calling 951-791-3400.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at dsieker@reedermedia.com.