Hialeah rancher relieved after stolen horses found

HIALEAH GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Two horses stolen from a Hialeah ranch in May were found safe and transported back to their owner.

It had been nearly two weeks since the two horses, a quarter horse mare named Dash and a bay Paso Fino gelding, were taken out of their stall at Rancho Gaspar in the middle of the night, but thanks to the community, they are now on the road to recovery.

The Miami-Dade Police Department and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found the two horses abandoned and malnourished in a field, Tuesday, near the ranch where they were stolen from.

“She goes, ‘We found the horses.’ Immediately I thought the worst,” said horse owner George Martinez. “She goes, ‘No, the horse is alive.'”

Martinez said the call came in on Sunday that both horses were found nearly one mile away from Rancho Gaspar, near Northwest 117th Avenue and 164th Street on May 12.

“Somebody local here saw the horses, called the owner of Gaspar, Gaspar went over there, identified the horses, picked up the horses and the trailer and brought them back to the ranch,” Martinez said.

Martinez said the horses were tied up and malnourished and were found neglected in a field. They lost about 20 pounds each, he said. “They were heavily dehydrated. Their skin was like rubber, no elasticity to it,” he said. “Immediately we gave them water, regular hay. They have cuts in the face, cuts in the jaws. They had a halter on them too tight for too long. They were tied for too long.”

Caretaker Yamil Gonzalez was the first to realize they were missing. He said whoever took the horses cut through the fencing.

“When I walk in the morning, usually every morning before I go to work, I feed the horses, and I see two horses missing,” Gonzalez said, “so I start tracing and tracing. The horses aren’t here.”

Martinez’s family said Dash was not only raised to compete but has become like family over the last 12 years.

He said the call came in right when they were about to lose hope. “The emotions just roll so high,” Martinez said. “You believe in humanity again. You believe that there is goodness out there. Even after all the bad things that happened, something positive came out of it.”

He gave the credit to the Miami-Dade Police Department and the South Florida SPCA for spreading the word so quickly.

“I want to thank the community for really pulling together and not let these horses be slaughtered,” Martinez said.

Police are still looking for the person or persons responsible for the theft. If you have any information on this theft, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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