LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a calf.

“Why would someone do this? It’s an animal. It’s a friendly cow,” said Jeff Boyst, the owner of BN Ares.

On Sunday, Nov.12, he found one of his calves with two shots to the chest. The next morning, they found the calf dead from her injuries.

A neighbor told officials they saw teens on ATVs in the area at the time of the gunshots. Right now, the sheriff’s office is trying to track down those teens to rule them out as suspects and see if they possibly saw anything that happened last Sunday.

“It was heartless,” Boyst said. 

He took over the family farm in 2007. They have one bull and 30 calves, but now that number dropped by one.

“Just having one calf go down … will hurt our profit margin just a little bit … She had 10 potential calves that she was going to bear, and now we have lost that,” Boyst said.

The calf that was killed was one year old and weighed about 800 pounds. Two shots at close range to a deadly spot led officials to believe this was not an accident. 

“We know this was intentional. It was along the side of the road. There is no mistaking this animal for a deer. This was a heartless act by someone I could describe in a lot of words not fit for TV,” Boyst said.

It happened about half a mile from the house on their property near the Turner Road bridge. 

“This past spring, I took down about six and left them down there to gain weight. There is great grass down there, great opportunity for them to get big, get some independence and be weaned,” he said. 

Boyst moved the other calves back by early this year where they will stay until the spring. Then he plans to add security cameras, even though the DCSO says these incidents are rare. 

“Obviously, we want to make sure we don’t have another incident of this running through the county because there are lots of livestock in this area,” Deputy Christian Soles said.

The sheriff says they take these crimes seriously. 

“We want to stop it now and stop whoever has done this. We want to make sure this doesn’t happen again … We are going to investigate them and prosecute to the fullest,” Sheriff Richie Simmons said.

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The person who shot and killed the calf faces felony animal cruelty charges.

There was also a report of a horse that was recently shot in Lexington, but deputies do not know if the two could be related.

If you have any information, contact the DCSO.