The Solar Panel and the Horse

(WSVN) - His association would not let him install the solar panels he needed for his house. The person who sold her a lame horse refused to return her money … both called Help Me Howard and both their stories aired. What happened after that? It’s why Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser never gives up.

It seemed like such a good idea — install solar panels on the roof to save money and help the environment.

Pablo Vasconcelos, wanted to install solar panels: “We are the state that has the most sunshine in the country. Why not take advantage of that?”

A great way to cut down on the electric bill, until Pablo’s homeowners association tried to short circuit his plan.

Pablo Vasconcelos: “The association says it can only be installed on the flat roof of the property.”

But the flat roof would only hold six panels. He needed 30 more panels to power his home, and wanted to put them on the inclined part of the roof. The association said no — a decision which breaks a state law to encourage solar panels.

Pablo Vasconcelos: “Frustrated. Only one thing that takes my sleep, and it’s injustice.”

Then our story aired and a few weeks later, Pablo noticed his neighbor installing solar panels.

Pablo Vasconcelos: “Isn’t that selective enforcement? Your panels are located in the south side of the roof, like mine, but yours were approved immediately. Why haven’t they approved mine?”

Pablo said to heck with approval or going to court. He installed his solar panels, and the association has not said a word to him.

Pablo Vasconcelos: “A lot of people came here to congratulate us on having the panels installed. The panels are up and running since May. I love it, I love it. The panels are great.”

From harnessing electricity to hauling in a horse…

Toni Webb, horse was lame: “And I saw this absolutely stunning quarter horse palomino.”

Toni went up to Auburndale, near Orlando, to check out the palomino named Sandy.

Toni Webb: “He was quiet, he was easy going. I said, ‘Yes, this is what I was looking for.'”

Toni paid $4,000 and smartly wrote on the bill of sale that when the horse was delivered, it would be the same horse, in the same condition.

Sandy showed up.

Toni Webb: “When he got off the trailer, he did that — the stumbling sideways as he turns.”

Vets said the problem could not be corrected, that Sandy is lame and will never be rideable.

Toni Webb: “You know, it’s a shame.”

Toni asked for her money back. The seller said no. Howard suggested Toni sue in small claims court.

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “In small claims court, she will win.”

That day in a Broward courtroom arrived…

Judge: “So you are Mrs. Feagle? And you are Ms. Webb.”

Toni and the seller, Tracey Feagle, met with a mediator for a few minutes. They returned smiling like good friends.

Judge: “So you came to a resolution, and it’s a payment plan.”

They agreed that Tracey will pay Toni $100 a month, and they think they figured out something else — why Sandy suddenly went lame.

Toni Webb: “And I said, ‘There is a possibility he could have fallen in the trailer on the way down,’ and she said, ‘Yeah, we considered that. That might have been what happened.'”

They also agreed on one more thing. Tracey will try to find what Toni wanted in the beginning — a horse she can enjoy riding.

Toni Webb: “I didn’t expect it to be this easy to get it resolved. I am very happy with it, and thank you Help Me Howard.”

And I can guess your first question. What happened to Sandy? Toni gave him to a friend who has a plenty of room for him to enjoy life.

Saddled with a problem that’s bucking you? Ready to gallop into the sunset with a smile? Contact us. No one ever said we are electric, but we have the horse sense to provide the power to solve your headache.

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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