Family mourns shooting of 'sweetheart' pony Diesel
A MINIATURE horse who survived the devastating bushfires at Drake has been shot and killed in a "despicable act."
Ewingar resident Chantal Press and her husband found Diesel's lifeless body only 300m from their home on Sunday evening.
The couple, who live on a 44ha block, said they were distressed and angry that someone had trespassed on their property, gone down their 1km-long driveway and killed a defenceless pony.
Diesel was only nine hands (about 91cm) high.
They had adopted the pony along with two other horses after their original owners were burnt out at Drake during the Long Gully Road bushfires in September.
The couple is now offering a reward for any information about the killing.
Ms Press said when she called the police she thought a stray bullet, perhaps from someone shooting kangaroos on a nearby property, had unfortunately struck her beloved Diesel.
"We let him out at 6.30pm and were talking, laughing and joking with Diesel, and when we went to bring him in about 11.10pm we found him dead," she said.
"He already had rigor mortis, which meant he had been dead for some hours.
"By his hoofprints, police said he appeared to have only gone 300m from the house to eat some grass and the other horses were very distressed."
Ms Press said initially her husband thought Diesel was attacked by dogs because of all the blood on his mane.
"When the police came out and looked at where Diesel was shot and the angle of the injury they said it was definitely deliberate," she said.
"Diesel was a real little gentleman, a real sweetheart.
"We hope the person responsible comes forward and apologises.
"They knew what they were doing.
"Diesel was very gentle he did not deserve this."
Richmond Police District Chief Inspector Susie Johnston said police were conducting a thorough investigation of what she described as a "despicable act."
She urged anyone with any knowledge to call Richmond Police District or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
"Police are currently investigating this crime," she said.
"We are taking this crime very seriously.
"It is despicable that someone would deliberately shoot a pony in this manner."