LYONS, Colo. - A month after someone used a high-powered rifle to kill a miniature donkey in an otherwise peaceful pasture near Lyons, the animal's owner Bobbie Watson still asks why?
For six years the Watsons -- Bobbie and her husband, Tim -- have raised two miniature donkeys, Kaitlyn and her brother, Tucker.
"We're very close to our animals," Watson told 7NEWS photojournalist Major King. "The donkeys were our companions. And they were joyful and they were lovely and they were fun to watch and they were fun to play with."
"They have excellent memories," she said. "They kept the coyotes off the property. They kept the grasslands down."
But that all changed -- suddenly and violently -- on Dec. 21.
Bobbie Watson knew something was wrong when Tucker came up to her without his usually inseparable sister, Kaitlyn.
Watson went looking for the small donkey and found her dead.
"She was lying there and she was cold," the owner said. "I'm a nurse…and I saw the bullet holes. Somebody shot my donkey."
Watson believes the shooter fired from Rock Wedge Drive, hitting the donkey grazing about 75 yards from the road.
"Kaitlin got shot once straight through the chest and once up through the neck ," Watson said.
Yet, Bobbie Watson said, "I don't want to see this person punished."
"I would love to see them caught, just so that I could explain to them what they took away -- that sense of peace and some of the beauty of this valley is gone," she said.
"Just to say, 'Would you think twice?'" Don't do this again. Don't do this again," Watson said. "Because anger doesn't get you anything... Forgiveness pays forward and that's a valuable price."
The Larimer County Sheriff's Office said it has not identified any suspects in the shooting.
Bobbie Watson said sheriff's investigators told her the best hope to solve the case is if the shooter tells someone what happened and that person comes forward to authorities.