ASHLAND, Va. (AP) — Authorities in Virginia are investigating what happened to a horse that appears to have been shot in the chest.

News outlets report the horse named Penny was found wounded last week. Kim Gaudino tells WWBT-TV that she had just returned home from a birthday dinner when she noticed the 24-year-old horse didn’t run up to greet the family like she usually did. She says a bullet was found in Penny’s side the next day and the family dug a grave, believing Penny’s death was imminent. But she says Penny surprised them and is recovering.

Hanover County sheriff’s investigators are investigating Penny’s wounding as an animal cruelty case. They’re asking the public for information about anyone, particularly hunters or target shooters, who may have discharged firearms near the horse’s Ashland home.

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