When we think of household pets, it’s most common for cats or dogs to go missing.
Cats tend to be wanderers of the neighborhood and can sometimes wander a bit too far from home, whereas when a dog is off their lead they may end up chasing something and getting lost as a result.
So when we came across this next story of a horse who went missing, we knew that it was going to be interesting. The horse in question vanished from his owner’s yard and didn’t re-appear for the next 10 years! His owner had given up ever finding him again when she was contacted by a woman who had bought her horse from a suspicious Craigslist ad. Horse and owner were then reunited, and we’re about to share the whole, mind-blowing story with you!
Michelle Pool is a devoted horse mom from Texas, and her beloved steed, Opie, is her whole life. She first brought him home when he was only 10 months old and lovingly raised him into adulthood.
“My old horse lived and died on my property at 30 years old,” she told Honest to Paws. “I keep them for life. They’re mine. They’re my four-legged children.”
Ten years ago, Michelle returned home from surgery with the hopes of being able to put her feet up and rest. But instead, she was faced with any pet owner’s worst nightmare. The fence was clipped, and Opie was nowhere to be seen.
Michelle instantly called the police before rushing over to her neighbor’s house. He was a deputy at the local sheriff’s office so she relied on him to help her, and he had some interesting information. Apparently, he’d spotted a horse trailer outside the house the night before. However, he’d just believed it was Michelle transporting Opie somewhere and hadn’t thought anything of it.
It seemed pretty clear that somebody had stolen Opie, but Michelle refused to give up hope.
She posted flyers near the Interstate 10 and knocked on all of her neighbor’s doors asking if they’d seen her horse. But sadly, despite Opie’s distinctive tan and white markings, Michelle had no luck.
“There was no sign of him…I was heartbroken,” she said. “I had to explain to my kids that there are people…who take things that don’t belong to them. They were scared one of the other horses was going to get taken. I said, ‘We’ll find him, we won’t stop looking.’”
Michelle had filed a report with Stolen Horse International, but as the years went by, nobody contacted her about Opie. She was absolutely heartbroken and began to accept that her beloved horse wasn’t coming back. In that time, Michelle went through a divorce and moved from Texas to Arkansas.
Meanwhile, in Dayton, Texas, a woman named Della Brade had just posted a Craigslist ad. She was trying to sell Opie, but Michelle was none the wiser.
It wasn’t until Deanna Bordelon spotted the ad that she noticed something fishy about the whole thing. Deanna was looking to buy a horse for her daughter, but having being conned into buying badly-trained horses before, she made sure to do extra research into Opie, who was now named War Bonnet.
When Deanna inquired about Opie’s past, she was met with a bewildering explanation.
According to Della, she’d been given “War Bonnet” as a gift from a pastor eight years ago. That pastor had apparently received the horse from another pastor, who had apparently spotted the horse wandering down the I-10 interstate.
Deanna decided to research the incident on the I-10 interstate – after all, something as absurd as a horse wandering down such a main road would surely have made the news. But instead of coming across any news stories, she ended up finding a picture of Opie on the Stolen Horse International website.
Shocked, Deanna contacted the organization, and in no time at all, the team had tracked down Michelle.
Michelle was in disbelief that her beloved Opie had been found after all this time. But as soon as she met up with her horse again, it was clear that their bond had never gone away! An emotional video showed the pair’s reunion, and Michelle can be seen cuddling up with Opie as if no time has passed.
We’re so glad that Opie was reunited with his original owner, and we’re sure that Michelle is looking forward to many more happy years with Opie.
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Source: Honest to Paws