Talon News - Good Local News

Who Shot Ralph the Donkey?

"He never hurt nobody, he was just like an overgrown puppy dog," Tamara Hargis said


"He never hurt nobody, he was just like an overgrown puppy dog," Tamara Hargis said about their beloved donkey, Ralph. At about 9:30, the night of April 17, 2018 she and her husband, Corey, heard a vehicle stop, pull-forward near their Flora Vista residence, then shortly after, they heard two rapid-fire gunshots. Tamara said as soon as they heard the sounds they "Jumped out of bed, came running out but there was nobody here". Corey, who's has lived on the property his whole life, walked across County Road 3000, where the animals are kept, to check on them. Their horse and Ralph were both standing in the pasture, so he thought things were alright.

The next morning Mr. Hargis discovered blood and realized that Ralph appeared to have been shot in the right hind quarter. Mrs. Hargis texted TALON later in the day, stating that a veterinarian confirmed that the donkey had died from the gunshot wound and internal injuries. Asked about the possibility of retaliation or revenge, Cory said he didn't think it was anything like that. "Honestly, I think it was just random, just some idiot", he said. "I'm sure we've possibly crossed some people the wrong way---we been here all our life---but as far as knowing it, we don't. We were raised where you shake hands and go back to business," he shared. He agreed that--- "you know if you have an enemy."

The morning that we talked, someone had laid a bouquet of yellow flowers by the pasture fence. "Ralph was a community donkey---he was like a big dog", Tamara laughed. "Oh yeah, he loved everybody. Any time somebody would come here, he'd come over to the fence, he was loud some days, but we live out of town, you know. He would start braying to let us know people are here". "He was our little guard animal over here."

A report was filed by the Sheriff's Department and the Hargis' were contacted by Detective Mike Farni. A shell casing had been found but apparently had been driven over---and there was no way to connect it to the shooting. The caliber of casing has not been determined at this time. The department has published a photo of Ralph on social media. Tamara said a single donor pitched in a thousand dollars for a reward, along with a few others. They're calling it "#justicefordonkeys"!

As for the reward money, Corey said, "It don't need to come to us--- I'm just hoping that somebody will turn the person in---that did it". "I know they're trying---they really are", Tamara said---"It's going to have to be somebody seeing something or somebody bragging about it.

"My kids asked what I'd do if I came face-to-face with them---'I said, I'd ask them WHY?'". Their children, a daughter, 9, and sons, 13 and 15, dearly miss their donkey. Being animal lovers, they're active with their parents in 4-H; and the oldest with FFA.

Ralph, who was about 10-12 years old, wasn't ridden much, Tamara said, "Not so much---he was a pet, frisky though---he was just a big old goof ball". She said "...people have compassion, they've seen Ralph for years...driving down Southside River Road." "..I mean there's a lot of people mad over this", Corey stated.

Where the Hargis family lives, Corey said, "Is still considered "a farming community...there's a lot of people that have animals here...that's probably the reason it shook so many people up, you know---they're worried for their animals".

Tamara said, "We want to thank everybody for all their support and compassion...and for trying to help find who did this. So many are talking about it...and you know, somebody's going to slip..some day".

Corey added, "At least scare 'em enough where they're not going to do it to someone else's animals!"

RIP Ralph


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