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It is not all that unusual for Animal Control Office Carolee Mason to handle a dog or even a stray horse, or other farm animal — she helped round up cattle on September 29, and there were three pig escapees a couple of weeks before that, as a matter of fact — but on Sunday, October 8, an abandoned or lost horse was found on a farm on Poverty Hollow Road, and by the next day it became a unique circumstance.
“This is unusual because the owners never came forward,” Ms Mason said on Monday, October 9, at around noontime.
Ms Mason, while on vacation in Maine no less, was contacted about the horse by, and spent a portion of her time away on the phone with, horse/police officials and horse community members to try to facilitate getting the horse to a safe place, and in isolation.
She contacted Kim Macey of Bray Hill Farm, who boards retired horses and transports horses, often coming through in the clutch to help Ms Mason in such situations as the one that presented itself Sunday.
Dee Davis, president of the Newtown Bridle Lands Association, was also in on the conversations with Ms Mason as they put their minds and time together to find a temporary home for the horse.
“We were looking all over for someone that was able to keep it,” said Ms Macey, adding that it is not so simple as just finding a farm with a stall.
Even the willing sometimes cannot accept a horse with no background information if they are caring for other people’s horses, Ms Macey, Ms Davis, and Ms Mason explained.
“It’s an issue when you get a horse and you don’t know its medical records, if it’s been vaccinated,” added Ms Macey, noting that the horse seems to be fine, did not have a fever, and has been fed.
The horse ultimately was transported, by Ms Macey, from the farm where it was found to a Newtown residence with a paddock where the horse is kept apart from the owner’s own horses. Ms Macey said local veterinarians were contacted but none recognized the horse.
“Through the horse community we were able to find the best place to keep this horse,” noted Ms Davis, who estimates the horse, a small bay mare with a white blaze on her face, is between 9 and 15 years old.
Ms Davis added that NBLA member Shelby McCord has also played a part in checking on and caring for the horse, and that many people in town have made an effort to help since the word spread through social media. “I was getting desperate because I was going to put it behind the pound in a fenced-in area. Worst come to worst, it would have been there,” Ms Mason said.
Ms Mason has dealt with chickens showing up on a person’s front porch, and horses that have gotten away. And, of course she has her own variation of the story of the Three Little Pigs.
“I’ve never had an incident where someone’s abandoned a horse like this,” said Ms Mason, adding that it is possible the horse’s owner is away and a caretaker was unsure of what to do after the horse escaped.
From pigs to cows… to this horse, it has been a bizarre few weeks for Ms Mason.
“It’s been wacky. It always seems when I’m on vacation, I’m still working,” Ms Mason said somewhat light-heartedly. “I’m used to it.”
“It just goes to show what a dedicated person she is. We spent half the day on the phone or texting, and she would drive to where she had service,” Ms Macey said of Ms Mason’s efforts.
“I want to say how lucky we are to have Carolee Mason as our animal control officer,” Ms Davis added. She pointed out that Ms Macey, too, has done a very nice thing.
“Kim is just an amazing woman. She is right there when a horse is in distress. She is right there to help,” Ms Davis said.
Ms Mason said the horse may be put up for adoption if the current caretaker opts not to adopt it. Anybody with information about the horse should contact Newtown Animal Control at 203-426-6900.