BELLE PLAINE, Minn. (WCCO) — There’s an old saying about cats having nine lives. A horse in Belle Plaine is living up to that same theory.

Deke, a thoroughbred racing horse, is recovering from a gunshot to the face and that isn’t his only brush with death.

When Angela Sniffin bought Deke nearly three years ago, the idea was for him to quietly live out his days in a Belle Plaine pasture.

“We had plans for a great retirement for him, lots of walking and trail riding,” said Sniffin, Deke’s owner.

On Sunday morning, Angela discovered that someone invaded Deke’s peaceful retreat.

“This is an entrance for the first bullet on the side of his face,” said Sniffin, as she pointed out one of the horse’s injuries.

Two bullet marks near his neck showed Deke was on the receiving end of a small caliber handgun.  At first, Sniffin thought it was an accident. Then, she noticed another horse she owned, Buddy, had a gunshot wound to his leg.

“It’s pointing at someone deliberately shooting them for sport,” said Sniffin.

To say Deke is lucky is a bit of an understatement.  In 2009, the thoroughbred escaped the slaughterhouse when his racing days ended and his hind legs show the scars of another serious injury.

Deke survived what the veterinarian believed was a cougar attack.

“That took a long time of medication and perseverance and getting him through that,” said Sniffin.

“Most people, as soon as vet bills add up or feed bills, they discard horses,” said Jen Hungerford, a friend of Sniffin’s.

For Sniffin, giving up on her horse was never an option.

“We’ve been through a lot together and he knows I’m going to do what it takes.  What’s in his best interest to make sure he’s ok,” said Sniffin.

If anything, she believes his setbacks have strengthened their bond.

“I think he’s going to make it to a nice old retirement age.  He’s a tough horse,” said Sniffin.

Sniffin even took on a second job to pay the vet bills rather than get rid of her horse. The Scott County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting.

Comments (17)
  1. Tom says:

    Find these pig’s now…they are sick and need to be taken out of society before they turn their gun’s on human’s…

  2. Thomas Keim says:

    they probably have a permit lots of sick pups out there do

    1. bubba55124 says:

      Permit for what you idiot???? Responsible gun owners dont shoot domestic animals. Do a little research before you run your gums. I hope these thugs are caught,althought the judges will just set them free anyway. The people in our justice system are far more dangerous than the responsible gun owners are.

      1. rcam says:

        couldn’t have said it better myself.totally agree with you.

      2. Jus Sayin says:

        Really, Bubba? You rip on Keim and tell him that legit gun owners are responsible (and I was with you on that) till you say that people in our justice system are far more dangerous than responsible gun owners are?

        What people in our justice system? I hope you didn’t mean law enforcement because if you did, you are a BIGGER lDIOT than the person you are trying to rip on!

        Have a lot of negative experiences with those in our justice system?? Or… are you calling yourself Bubba coz its your boyfriend’s name that you met in the pokey?

    2. URADK says:

      You are a moron Thomas – I

    3. bob says:

      Hopefully your going out for Thanksgiving. Your not smart enough to cook a turkey. Morons like you should try not to talk and please don’t reproduce.

  3. Ellen says:

    Stuff like this is sad. Chances are it was some teenagers that figured they would
    have a little fun at a poor animals expense. I agree with bubba’s comment “permit
    for what, you idiot?”. Folks that have permits are armed to protect themselves
    from TWO-LEGGED animals!

  4. Ace says:

    No punishment could be harsh enough for these evil creeps. They’re not sick, they’re rotten monsters

  5. Anita Newhouse says:

    There’s “conventional wisdom” (ie: what people think) and then there’s scientifically -gathered data, or the collection of facts about actual events/incidents. While I know most people need to think that permit-holding gun owners make the worlld safer for everyone, recorded data, devoid of mitigators and judgement, says otherwise.
    Guns hurt/kill animals and humans, period. I love the NRA’s argument that “it’s not guns that kill, it’s people who kill”. I readily accept this argument because it is the fact that we are “only human” that makes guns such a problem.

    1. Obv. says:

      Earth to you, handguns were everywhere before permit to carry was a law, that law didn’t enable weirdos to acquire guns, weirdos already had them, it was for normal people to acquire them.

  6. rml says:

    Good point Anita….. before everyone had a gun we rarely heard of things like this happening. When I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s no one had to worry about their kids or animals getting hurt from guns, at least not on this scale. Had something very similar happen in WI about a year ago. It happens all too often now, it usually winds up being teenagers (as was the case in WI), where the heck are the parents and why do teens have access to guns so much these days. Hopefully the morons that did this will be caught and end up in jail.

    1. Obv. says:

      The current carry gun law is about 5 years old or so, what does the 60’s and 70’s have to do with that? Also no where does it state teenagers shot this horse, you’re awesome at jumping to conclusions even if they are grossly negligent.

  7. Karen says:

    My philosphy is if I ever see anyone abusing a member of our society, whether it be an elderly person, significiant other, child or animal, I would attack that person with blind rage!!! I feel that our society is too readily to protect the suspect rather than the victim. This has got to change!!! It’s time for people to step up to the plate to announce the perpetrator to law enforcement to protect the innocent, animals included.

    1. Obv. says:

      Karen you would be crushed by any1 in society, so thats a poor philosphy.

  8. Murph says:

    One step from tageting people! The creep has to found and life in St.Peter!

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