Two Beaver Creek residents have been left shocked after they found one of their beloved ponies dead in their barn on Walker Road.
On Monday night Erika Loiselle went to turn the lights on in her barn and give her two horses, donkey and pony some hay, like any normal evening. She did not expect to see her six-year-old pony, Missy, laying lifeless in a stall with blood running down her neck.
Loiselle said Missy has what looked like a bullet hole on the back of her head behind her ear.
“Our neighbour came over last night and cut away the skin and tried to look at it and he stuck his finger all the way in and it still didn’t reach the bullet,” Loiselle said. “It’s a pretty clean cut wound and there’s bone fragments everywhere…whatever (penetrated) her shattered her bone.”
Loiselle and her husband Al often let the animals graze in their acreage behind their barn where Loiselle believes Missy was shot.
“She was not shot in the barn…that’s where she ran to and came to die,” Loiselle said.
Deer will often frequent the Loiselles’ five-acre farm as well as a 110-acre hay farm behind their property where gunshots are commonly heard.
“We hear gunshots daily. Anyone of the neighbours up and down here will attest to that. Everyone’s sick of it,” Loiselle said. “At any given time you can hear poachers and hear gunshots and everyone’s sick of it….if it was a stray bullet it could have been a kid back there.”
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Missy was a best friend to Loiselle and her three children. She said neighbours and friends would come by often just to see the pony and other farm animals.
“That’s my daughter’s best friend, that’s her first pony. We got her that animal to teach her how to take care of animals. That pony follows her around the property,” Loiselle said. “Her best friend got heartlessly murdered.”
About two-and-a-half years ago, Loiselle, along with two of her co-workers, won a million dollar lottery. The Loiselles used their winnings to purchase the farm property.
“We won a million dollars and this was my dream. I wanted my kids to have responsibility and grow up with animals, they’re very therapeutic and serene,” Loiselle said. “This is a great property, it’s a great opportunity…and I want my kids to feel safe.”
Hearing gunshots daily, Loiselle questions how it’s possible to help her kids feel safe playing in their yard.
“I can’t tell my kids they can’t play out back because it’s hunting season…how do you tell your kids they’re not safe on their own property,” she said.
After finding Missy dead on Monday evening, the Loiselles called the Port Alberni RCMP.
“We have to get a bullet or the RCMP say they can’t do anything…we’re waiting for a friend to come retrieve the bullet,” Loiselle said. “I’m willing to dissect my pony to at least help find answers or protect the ones I do still have.”
Port Alberni RCMP media relations officer, Amelia Hayden, said Port Alberni RCMP members did attend the Walker Road residence on Monday evening.
“Our members examined the scene and the horse and noted that the injury to the small horse did not appear to be consistent with one caused by a bullet,” Hayden wrote in an email.
“In the attending member’s experience, he had seen animals with similar injuries where the animal had managed to skewer themselves on a sharp object on the property.”
Hayden said the investigation is concluded unless further information comes forth indicating otherwise.
“There was nothing to indicate for sure if this was a crime,” Hayden said. “If it’s not a crime we wouldn’t keep the file open.”