(JURUPA VALLEY, Calif.) — It’s not every day that you see a Shetland pony with a braided mane wandering down the street — so when one was corralled by a sheriff’s deputy one morning on Galena Street in Jurupa Valley, California, it touched off a week-long mystery aimed at finding the owner.
On Friday, the owner was found. Jorge Rodriguez, Olga Martin and their daughter, Jolette, 9, could not be happier to be reunited with their 16-year-old pony, Blossom.
“My daughter, she was crying the whole week,” Martin told ABC News. “She is with her [Blossom] right now. We’re very, very happy not to see her crying anymore.”
Blossom was found wandering alone down Galena Street in Jurupa Valley around 6 a.m. on Nov. 25, officials said.
“I was asleep and was wondering what was going on, then I discovered the horse in our yard,” said Edith Hernandez, whose mother allowed the sheriff’s deputy to hold the pony in the family’s property, according to a release by the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
“That’s a relatively busy street on a midweek morning,” Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesperson John Welsh told ABC News. “[The deputy] was probably making sure the pony wasn’t hit by a car or causing an accident.”
Rodriguez and his daughter said Blossom likely escaped that same morning after her gate was accidentally left open, ABC News station KABC-TV reported.
Finding abandoned ponies and horses actually is not uncommon in Jurupa Valley. But Blossom was described in “beautiful” condition. Besides the braided mane, Blossom had a new halter and a healthy weight, estimated to be between 400 and 500 pounds.
“Usually, when we impound a horse, it’s skin and bone,” Welsh told ABC News. “Someone has usually abandoned it in a field or riverbank. Not a beautiful Shetland.”
The Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter assumed the pony to be someone’s pet. But even after officials struck up a storm of interest on social media sites, and after numerous media outlets covered the slate-black beauty’s story, no one came forward, the shelter said — though the Rodriguez family said they called the shelter the day Blossom disappeared and was told she wasn’t there.
It was not immediately clear what caused the apparent mix-up.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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