Perry County family horse dies in suspected shooting


LANDISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A day made for giving thanks turned into heartbreak for a Perry County family.

On Thanksgiving Day, they said one of their horses, Katie, was shot and killed — potentially by someone hunting out of season. Their vet told them only two things can cause the circular wound Katie had: hard metal fencing — which they don’t have on their property — or a bullet.

“Katie trusted us to get her in a box every week and know that we were going to keep her safe, and I couldn’t keep her safe,” said Katie’s owner, Samantha Morris.

Samantha Morris’ daughter, 19-year-old Bethany, had just finished her Thanksgiving meal when she left to feed the horses. She immediately saw something was wrong with Katie.

“Maybe she’s colicky, maybe she’s this, maybe she’s that, maybe she’s just down. I wasn’t thinking the worst,” Bethany Morris said.

“I found Bethany screaming, and Katie down in a pool of blood,” Samantha Morris said.

The pool was just the beginning. Katie left a long trail of blood and was trying to get up, but with her injury — nothing could be done.

“We were with her. I was holding her head, and you know, she wasn’t alone,” Samantha Morris said.

Alone is how her owners are feeling now. The blow is especially hard for Bethany, who was finally given the chance to perform with Katie during the Farm Show opener.

She called Katie her “heart horse.”

“That is you and that horse. You guys are like the perfect fit and nothing can come in between you,” Bethany Morris said.

They believe someone hunting out of season did come between Bethany and Katie, but the family is clear, they’re not against guns or hunters, they just want people to be careful and consider their surroundings.

“Pay attention to what you’re aiming at — what you’re even thinking about doing,” Bethany Morris said.

“The hole that you have left in this family is far bigger than the one that was in her leg,” Samantha Morris said.

The family is filing a report with the Game Commission. They said if further action is requested, they will involve the police.

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