UPDATE: Veterinarian says horse was not shot in Johnson County

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) — The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office has released information from an investigation into a horse’s death in the county, which appear to contradict a local man’s story about the cause of death.

Pete Ungaro, of rural Iowa City, told authorities he found his horse Katie shot and killed execution-style over the weekend. In a release on Tuesday, Sheriff’s officers say they worked with a veterinarian to investigate the claim, and that veterinarian determined that the horse had not been shot with a firearm and showed no obvious signs of trauma. The veterinarian examined x-rays of the house during the investigation.

A GoFundMe page set up to establish a reward fund in the case had nearly reached $1,000 as of Tuesday afternoon, with a stated goal of $5,000.

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Original Story (11/5):

Over the weekend, a Johnson County man said he found one of his horses had been shot and killed when he went out to feed them breakfast.

Pete Ungaro went out to feed his horses on Saturday, Nov. 3, when he found his horse, Katie, had been shot execution-style in the head with a small caliber gun. Ungaro lives right outside of Iowa City-limits off of Prairie Du Chien Rd near Interstate-80.

Ungaro’s daughter, Desirae Hanrahan, said they have no idea who could have killed Katie but she said they suspect it was someone local. The horses can’t be seen from the road on Ungaro’s property.

Hanrahan said his property backs up to a few acres of timber but beyond that is a residential subdivision.

“We do think it is someone local because you cannot see the horses from the road,” Hanrahan said. “It was someone who knew they were back there.”

The home didn’t have surveillance footage and the only two nearby neighbors reportedly didn’t hear any gunshots.

Hanrahan said Katie, a rescue horse, didn’t deserve what happened to her and they don’t believe it was an accident.

Brad Kunkel, with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, said they are investigating. Kunkel said anyone with information should contact them.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has been created to put together a reward fund for anyone with information. Hanrahan said the money raised will also help her father with the costs of picking up Katie’s body and her cremation.

Find the GoFundMe page here — www.gofundme.com/justiceforkatieIC

“We are just hoping to catch whoever did this. Anyone with any information is urged to come forward,” she said.

Jalyn Souchek

Jalyn Souchek

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