Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Blind horse on way to new Mont. home

By Brenna R. Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Beauty is on her way home. The blind, 18-year-old horse who has lived at the Boone County Animal Shelter for nearly six months is leaving Kentucky today for greener pastures in Montana.

Ron and Mary Wolfe, who volunteered to drive Beauty to her new home, loaded the horse into a trailer Monday afternoon. They plan to set off on the 33-hour drive from their Union home this morning.

The animal shelter staff that cared for Beauty for several months was sad to see her go, said Suzanne Ditto.

"But happy, (because) she needs a permanent home," said Ditto, a veterinary technician. "We will definitely miss her."

Beauty, an American saddlebred, ended up at the shelter in February after its owner could no longer care for it.

After learning about the horse, Steve Smith, who owns four other blind horses and many blind cats, agreed to take Beauty. Smith said Beauty could have a home at his Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Ovando, Mont., if somebody would transport her west.

The Wolfes offered their services, and Boone County Animal Care and Control raised money to pay for the trip. By Monday afternoon, it had received more than $2,500 in donations.

Any money left over from transportation costs will be given to the ranch to pay for Beauty's care, Ditto said.

The Wolfe family owns and shows quarter horses and has a three-horse trailer with living quarters. They had the time and the equipment - and they have never been out West, Mary Wolfe said.

"It was something that we wanted to do someday. We thought this was an opportunity to do it," she said. The Wolfes and their 12-year-old son, Nathan, plan to camp along the way.

"It's going to be interesting," Mary Wolfe said. "An adventure."


E-mail bkelly@enquirer.com

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