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Police: Horse shooter still at large

BUFORD - Gwinnett police said Wednesday no charges have been filed after a horse worth thousands of dollars was found shot to death on a Buford property.

Mary Lynn Whiten said she found her 8-year-old quarter horse Matias shot through its chest on her 5-acre property Monday afternoon. Police later found the horse dead in Whiten's pasture, located on Kilgore Road about a mile from the Mall of Georgia.

Whiten said investigators with Gwinnett County Animal Control scoured her property for a bullet but found nothing. She suspects a neighbor - who she's heard firing guns before but doesn't personally know - could be to blame.

"(Investigators) think the shooter was up in a tree," Whiten said.

Whiten is offering a $500 reward for the shooter's arrest and conviction. She says she's so unnerved by the loss of her animal she isn't sleeping.

Whiten estimates the animal was worth $5,000 as a breed mare. She bought the horse five years ago for $2,500.

Cpl. Illana Spellman, Gwinnett police spokeswoman, said the shooter could face animal cruelty charges if it's proven they acted in negligence.

No suspects were named as of Wednesday afternoon, said Spellman.

"Animal Control is looking into it," she said. "There are no updates."