TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) - "Who could be so cruel and malicious?" Taos Police Chief Rick Anglada asked.
The Taos Police Department wants to know who shot an innocent pony. The miniature pony became a favorite at the TPD a couple months ago. Two officers corralled Rocket after he escaped his pen and wandered onto the main road in Taos.
"The relationship was instant," Chief Anglada said. "We all kind of fell for the little horse."
Officers even posted a picture on the department's Facebook page of them with the little guy. The response from the community was so overwhelming that the police made Rocket their unofficial mascot.
Anglada also made plans.
"[We wanted to] get into the schools and develop that relationship [using the pony]," he said.
He wanted to use the pony to teach kids about animal care and abuse, but those plans will never come true.
"Someone just went up and point blank and shot it in the head," said Anglada.
The pony suffered for hours in his stable until the owner found him.
"It's very upsetting," Anglada said.
The chief is now wondering if the shooter was retaliating against the police department because of the close relationship with the pony. Officers are working every lead and trying to recover the bullet to find the shooter.
The chief said this isn't just about the pony, but he also has concerns that the shooter may start to target more than animals.
"It's been shown in the past that their crimes will elevate and escalate to harming mankind," said Anglada.
The department's Facebook page has been filled with emotional comments since word of the pony's death hit the web. The chief said finding the killer will send a message.
"We won't tolerate that kind of maliciousness," said Anglada.
Neighbors near where the pony was shot were too scared to go on camera but said they are worried the shooter will come back. They didn't see anything but did give police hints about someone in town who had fought with the pony's owners in the past.
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