No two situations are the same for our Animal Control Officers (ACO), which makes every day an adventure. From a bull on the highway to a buck with its rack caught in a net hammock, our field team is regularly challenged with creating inventive ways on the spot to bring animals in precarious situations to safety.
Our newest ACO, Lauren Pauley, responded to what seemed to be a routine request to pick up a stray pony confined to the property of a concerned citizen. Upon arrival, the small pony was wearing a halter, and Pauley thought handling the little guy and getting him into the horse trailer would be a breeze. Pauley has horses of her own and is very experienced with handling equines, so she didn’t sweat when the pony bolted with every advance.
Pauley gathered her lasso and figured the pony would be compliant once he knew he was caught…Boy was she wrong! ACO Pauley had no trouble lassoing the pony (successful on the first try), but our little pony, now known as Bandit, continued to resist. He bolted with all 400 pounds of his might. In the struggle, Office Pauley ended up on the ground, while Bandit went on to continue grazing.
Pony 1, ACO 0.
Changing tactics, our ACO team was able to safely capture Bandit and bring him to our shelter. Once there, Bandit wanted nothing to do with anybody even when tempted with an apple. We continued to work with Bandit and little by little have made progress. We are overjoyed that Bandit was able to find a home with someone willing to work with him and help him to be become a more social pony.
ACO Pauley will forever remember Bandit. She made short clips to commemorate her relationship with Bandit. You can check them out here (make sure your volume is on)!
We look forward to the build out of our new Animal Services Center, which will have expanded space for staff to work with horses like Bandit and prepare them for adoption!