Family mourns shot horse

By Erika Mahoney

December 2, 2013 Updated Dec 2, 2013 at 9:04 PM EDT

Lisle, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The family who owns Lee Top dairy farm in Lisle has five horses.

Two weeks ago, they had six.

"Unnecessary, that would be the best word I could say to describe it. Unnecessary," Anne Lee, a mother of five children, said.

On Saturday, Nov. 23, Lee said she got a call from a friend with devastating news. The friend said he found one of their horses, Dakota, shot in their pasture.

A vet responded and Lee stayed with Dakota through the night, but she didn't make it.

Two weeks later, and Lee is still wondering what happened. She said not knowing is making it hard to move on.

Lee believes it's either a hunting accident or possibly intentional.

In the meantime, her five horses are staying in a pasture close to their house. Dakota was found shot in their 60 acre pasture behind their home, which is private property. Lee said she is too scared to let her horses roam this Winter.

The New York Department of Conservation is leading the investigation. The department told Action News Monday they are still investigating and are investigating all possible angles.

Lee hopes the person responsible will step forward to set a good example for her five kids.

She said Dakota was Paige's horse, her seven-year-old daughter. From the start, Dakota gravitated toward Paige after the family rescued Dakota from Vermont.

"She [Paige] asks about Dakota every night. "She is afraid of getting another horse because she doesn't want Dakota to be mad at her. It's hard to see my seven-year-old daughter go through that kind of stuff."

After a woman in Albany found out about the loss, she decided to offer Paige her horse.

This is not the only act of kindness the family has seen.

A friend quickly set up a website after the incident raising money for a reward for anyone who steps forward or has information. So far, $755 has been raised, some of the money even coming from as far away as Florida.

If it turns out to be hunting accident, Lee wants her hunting safety message to be heard. As a hunter herself, Lee hopes this story can bring awareness.