ABC11 Together: Horse loses eye to gunshot, Orange Co. family asking for your help

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A family is asking for help after a teen's beloved horse was shot in the eye

ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, community needs, and how our viewers can help.
It still makes 16-year-old Kaydi Zembow cry when she thinks about her rescued horse Layla being shot in the middle of the night a few weeks ago.

Layla lost her right eye, and now the Zembows are asking for your help to catch the person who did this and raise funds to pay for the surgeries Layla needed.

Donate to their GoFundMe page for Layla's veterinary bills here.

The family is hoping to raise $4,500, and they're more than halfway there.

Zembow said she's owned Layla for two years. The Arabian horse is almost 11 years old and was rescued by the United States Equine Rescue League.

Zembow keeps Layla at Rolling Hills Stables. She said at first, no one even knew the horse had been shot.

Kali Faatz, the stable owners' daughter, was there when Layla was found with blood dripping from her nostrils.

Faatz said it was a horrific scene and that Layla's eye was in bad shape. She explained no one knew the horse has been shot until after Layla's eye was removed by veterinarians at NC State. X-rays later revealed metal fragments in Layla's head.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said Layla was shot by a .22 caliber gun, but are unsure about the type of gun used.

Zembow said she's still heartbroken but grateful things didn't turn out worse.

"If she was shot anywhere else then where she was, and then she could've gotten brain damage, or even died," Zembow said, tears rolling down her face. "And so I'm just thankful that the bullet got lodged where it is so it only took out [her eye], and I'm just really thankful that she still the same pony that I know and love."

The Orange County Sheriff's Office is offering a $500 reward to anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest.

They family is asking anyone with information to call the Sheriff's Office at (919) 245-2900 and ask to speak to Lieutenant Tim Horn or investigator Allen Cole.

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