HOUSTON – Thieves stole four horses from a barn on Houston’s Southside during Tropical Storm Imelda.
The owners said they want nothing more than to have their animals returned.
Kim Stanley, her brother and his wife own the four horses, one chestnut and three sorrels.
The horses –- Ginger, Mary Jane, Sonny Boi and Bobby Joe –- were taken from their barn near Hiram Clarke Road and West Fuqua Street last week. Stanley believes the thieves might have struck between Wednesday night and Friday morning. She said they were unable to step foot on the property Thursday to check on the horses due to heavy rain associated with the storm.
"I did pass by on my way home, but I didn’t notice them roaming around like I normally do," Stanley said. "But I just thought that maybe they’re out in the stall or something."
Stanley said when her brother went to check on the horses Friday morning, he noticed they were missing and the barbed wire fence was cut. She believes that’s how the thieves were able to get the horses out of the barn.
"They didn’t even come prepared. They even took our lead ropes," she said.
Nicole Cook is married to Stanley’s brother. Cook said their three horses weren’t just pets, they were family. They took care of the oldest female horse for 17 years, she said.
"These are our children. We get together every Sunday and have a family ride and picnic," Cook said.
Cook said the horses would also take part in trail rides. The family is a member of the Untouchable Riders Club. Stanley said the family would often allow community members to ride their horses or visit the barn for serenity. She said she’s heartbroken someone would take their property.
"You try to think of this here as a close-knit family and families don’t steal from each other," she said.
Stanley said her worst fear is that the horses are being misfed, mistreated or heading to an auction or sawmill.
"Just give them back," Stanley said. "If anybody knows where they’re at, just give them back. Just tell us where."
Her family is offering a cash reward.