Inland Empire man heartbroken after his 2 ponies are shot and killed: 'Why do it to them?'

Leticia Juarez Image
Thursday, May 2, 2024
Inland Empire man heartbroken after his 2 ponies are shot and killed
A horse owner is heartbroken after two of his prized miniature ponies were shot to death in Reche Canyon.

COLTON, Calif. (KABC) -- The peaceful ranch Fernando Ibarra built in the hills of Reche Canyon was shattered on Monday.

It was the day his miniature pony, Trigger, was discovered shot to death.

"You can see the wound in his neck, and you could see it went through and through," Ibarra said.

He says a blood trail shows Trigger was shot near the fence but managed to stagger 500 feet to a trailer on the property before collapsing.

The discovery led to a desperate search for Trigger's mate, Morena. But she was also found dead in a dry creek bed.

Both animals had been shot to death.

"Why do it to animals that are on their property. They are not a nuisance. They're just grazing," Ibarra said.

The two ponies had been Ibarra's constant companion and a form of therapy for the 53-year-old who has been confined to a wheelchair for the past 16 years following an injury.

"I would just go around in my chair, and they'd be behind me, nudging me and wanting treats," he said.

Ibarra believes the killings happened at night under the cover of darkness and that the shooter likely spotted the ponies from the roadway running in front of his 20-acre property.

"Somebody came literally up to my gate, and they were about 40-50 feet away from the gate when they were shot," he said. "Why do it to them? And that's the only conclusion me and my wife have been able to come up with is that it was just joy killing, just for the fun of it."

Ibarra reported the incident to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and Department of Animal Services, but he also wants to warn his neighbors who like him have animals in sight of the roadway.

"I just want to get it out there because what they did to my animals - it's just unfortunate and I just don't want it to happen anybody else," Ibarra said.