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Bullet removed from horse after metal detector tips off caretakers

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 6:37 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 9:46 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Curiosity, a metal detector and some caring people at the Kentucky Humane Society recently solved a mystery and allowed a horse in Shelby County to shed a dark piece of its past.

That all happened at the Kentucky Humane Society’s Willow Hope Farm in Simpsonville.

A horse named Hope had just gotten back from the trainer. After several weeks of riding, Olivia Dixon, the KHS Equine Manager, said the mare had gotten fit.

“She’s still kind of a chunky girl,” Dixon said. “She’s in good shape for her. When she came back, the lump on her back looked even more noticeable than we remembered.”

The horse has an adoption lined up.
The horse has an adoption lined up.(WAVE 3 News)

Dixon said it wasn’t growing or showing any other issues. So, workers weren’t concerned about the free roaming horse from eastern Kentucky.

“A lot of horses from there come with scars and stuff and lumps and bumps,” she said. “It’s not that uncommon.”

But still, curiosity got the best of them.

“She has a lump on her neck that seems like nothing, but Lauren thought, what if we run a metal detector over it,” Dixon said in a Facebook video.

As soon as the two did that, the detector beeped indicating metal was found.

Caretakers used a metal detector to find the bullet.
Caretakers used a metal detector to find the bullet.(WAVE 3 News)

“Oh my gosh, Hope,” Dixon told the horse in the video. “So, right here probably is a bullet or a fragment of a bullet.”

Those suspicions were soon confirmed. A veterinarian pulled a bullet out of the horse’s neck.

Dixon said its not surprising because the mare’s arrival was marred with tragedy.

“After 20 or more of her herd members were shot and killed,” Dixon said.

She adds its not clear if Hope was shot along with those horses or if her bullet came from years before, but Dixon said removing it marks a symbolic step forward.

“She’s been in training and she’s gotten more adoptable in the time she’s been here,” she said. “So, it’s almost like that last little thing. We found that bullet and got it out. She can kind of just move on and find a home and be adoptable now.”

Hope already has an adoption lined up, but there are many other horses at the farm that are still available.

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