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$2,500 reward offered for information on murdered Indiana racehorse

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person who fatally shot a racehorse with a “captive bolt gun” in Lowell, Ind., the day before a race last month.

Lake County (Ind.) Sheriff’s police found Lady May Z shot between the eyes about 7 p.m. May 29 in a pasture near the corner of 245th Avenue and Colfax Street in Lowell, according to the sheriff’s office.

The 8-year-old standard bred trotting horse was scheduled to race the next day at Balmoral Park in south suburban Crete.

A necropsy performed by a forensic veterinary pathologist at Purdue University’s Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory determined the death was the result of blunt force trauma to the brain from a captive bolt gun -- a device used in processing plants to stun and kill livestock to be slaughtered, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators initially thought the horse was shot with a bullet.

The suspect would have had to hold the device up to the horse’s forehead and depressed the trigger, sheriff’s police said. They believe the suspect may have prior experience in the meat processing industry.

Sheriff’s Det. Michelle Dvorscak said the owners had other racehorses on the property, located in a secluded rural area, but no other horses were injured.

On Wednesday, the Humane Society of the United States offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the “identification, arrest and conviction” of the persons responsible for the shooting, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.

“It takes a truly callous person to shoot a gentle horse point-blank as she was grazing in her pen,” Anne Sterling, Indiana state director of HSUS, said in the release. “We are hopeful that this reward will bring forward anyone with information about this tragic crime.”

Anyone with information should call Dvorscak at (219) 755-3346, or call anonymously at (800) 750-2746.

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