CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. -- John the Mule is a happy and healthy riding mule who loves carrots and apples, according to his owners Rascal and Angela Annas from Granite Falls.

“I always look out the kitchen window to see if John is waiting for me to come on the back porch to give him an apple,” said Angela. 

Last Friday he didn't ask for an apple, he barely moved.

“Rascal said it looks like he's got an arrow in his neck, and there was,”Angela said. 

There was a Mossy Oak Crossbow arrow lodged above his left shoulder blade.

“Course we run out there. I'm on the phone with the vet and I'm on the phone with 911 getting the sheriff's deputy out there. They called animal control,” the owner said.

He was taken to Virginia-Maryland Veterinary Teaching Hospital where they removed the arrow that was stuck 6 inches deep.

John is recovering but he's not out of the woods yet.

“The problem is because of the depth and debris and contamination, we're trying to keep infection at bay. Infection is the killer of these animals,” they say.

There is a combined $2,000 reward to find out who did this.

“I put up $1,000 reward that morning, because I know money talks,” the owner said.

The sheriff's office added another $1,000. 

The owners said they do not think it was a hunting accident.

But for now, the family says keep praying.