THE owner of a pony that was shot through the chest by a bolt from a crossbow has described the animal’s attacker as ‘sick in the head’.
Paul Dean, 60, found his pony, Chaz, bleeding heavily yesterday afternoon (Thursday, October 24) at land near Newcote Farm in East Preston after it was shot in an attack police called ‘senseless’.
Vets fought for three hours to save the three-year-old Welsh mountain pony after the arrow penetrated nine inches deep into its chest, narrowly missing the heart.
Mr Dean, from Ferndale Walk, Angmering, said it had been ‘touch and go’ whether Chaz would survive.
He said: “The vet didn’t think Chaz would make it. Chaz started bleeding really heavily when the vet pulled the crossbow bolt out and went into shock. They needed to pump five litres of fluids into him.”
Chaz is now recovering, though Mr Dean is worried about the effects the ordeal might have on the animal’s personality.
He also condemned the animal’s attacker.
He added: “Any person who could do such a thing must be sick in the head. We’re still scared of this happening again, as the culprit is still on the loose.
“We don’t know what sort of person could do something like this. We love our animals and this has really had a huge impact on our lives.”
Police officers are now appealing for information about the shooting, which took place between 3pm and 5.45pm.
Sergeant Anna Gent, of the Arun neighbourhood policing team, said: “This was an extremely unpleasant attack on a defenceless pony which could have proved fatal. The pony suffered deep shock.”
East Preston councillor Ricky Bower said he was ‘disgusted’ to hear of the attack.
“Whoever the disgusting people who are responsible for this are, they must be caught.
“I think it’s the most appalling attack,” he said.
Anyone with information about what happened should phone Sussex Police on 101, quoting 1543 of 23/10, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, they can make a free, anonymous call to the independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.
For the full story, read next week’s Littlehampton Gazette, out on Thursday, October 31.