A horse was shot at as it grazed in fields in Hemsworth.
Catharine Richardson, 45, and her daughter Kiera, 20, discovered an air rifle pellet stuck lodged in the skin of their horse Billy when they went to tend to him last Friday morning.
Catharine said: “We went down to feed and water and check on Billy. My daughter checked him over whilst I was checking on two other horses in the fields.
“All of a sudden it was panic stations when she spotted this pellet lodged in him.”
Billy, a cob which the family has owned for seven years, was left with a wound and is still recovering on antibiotics.
Catharine said: “It was heartbreaking. We were so distraught. It is obviously incredibly distressing to find your horse with a pellet in it, as it would be to find any pet injured.
“He was very nervous and sensitive and flinched every time we went near him for a while.”
Police said they believed the horse had been injured by an air rifle pellet sometime overnight between September 29 and September 30, whilst in a field at the bottom of Grove Lane.
The horse was treated by a vet.
Catharine said: “I don’t think it has been done deliberately because a lot of people shoot rabbits down there.
“But I would urge people, please don’t shoot towards fields with horses. Accidents are going to happen.”
Anyone who has information about the incident is asked to contact the South East Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101.
Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.