‘He was our big dog’: Ladysmith family devastated to find horse shot, leading to his death

'He was our big dog': Ladysmith family devastated to find horse shot, leading to his death

For 17 years, a big, friendly horse named Cash was adored by his neighbours and the Ladysmith-area family who owned him — but now he’s been senselessly ripped from their lives after somebody shot him, eventually causing his death.

The Cairns family operates a farm on Cedar Road outside the mid-Island city, and Cash has been a big part of their lives over the years.

“He was our big dog,” said the horse’s owner, John Cairns.

“He was a doll, he’d be up there banging for his grain if John didn’t get up there right away, I mean he was such a sweetie and that’s when we realized something was wrong was when he didn’t come up,” said owner Brenda Cairns.

So at 11 a.m. Sunday, John went looking and found the retired farm horse and family pet laying out in a field behind their home, with a shotgun blast to his side.

In pain and unable to get up, with a hole ripped through the old bay’s body, Cash was quickly euthanized.

“I felt so bad, we went down there and he lifts his head up and we’re looking at him going, ‘you poor thing,'” said Brenda.

“It’s pretty devastating to find out somebody just came onto your property and shot him,” said the Cairns’ son, Jonathan, who also lives on the large rural property.

Credit: John and Brenda Cairns

The location where the horse was shot is more than 400 metres from the nearest road and on private property, so the horse’s owners can’t understand what happened.

“There’s no way that that they could have seen him from the road, that’s absolutely an impossibility and they had to have walked in,” said Jonathan.

The son also lives on the farm with his young family, and is now worried for their safety because of the senselessness of the shooting.

“I can’t get my head around it,” he said.

And Jonathan had this to say to the shooter:

“You took away a pet from a family for no reason and left him to suffer.”

Ladysmith RCMP is investigating as the  family struggles to understand why anyone would shoot their gentle horse.

David say he’s planning to install trail cameras around the family farm for security.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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