Missing for nearly a full year, Idaho has become one of the most famous lost-and-found stories of the horse world.
On September 26, 1997, however, Idaho suddenly went missing from the Metcalfes’ own pasture. Apparently, the fence was cut, and hoof prints led to tire tracks. Idaho was stolen.
Immediately, Idaho’s owners began spreading the word.
The Metcalfes printed and posted flyers, sent faxes, circulated emails, and created web messages. They talked with police officers, equine auctioneers, horse marketers, trainers and anyone else who might possibly have clues to Idaho’s whereabouts.
Fifty-one weeks later, Idaho was located and returned home.
During her absence from the Metcalfes, Idaho may have had as many as five different owners. No wonder she nickered to see them, once she was finally found in Tennessee.
Soon afterwards, Debi Metcalfe began Stolen Horse International/Net Posse, a non-profit organization aimed at helping horse owners find their missing equines.
Today, when a horse is reported missing, Net Posse issues an Idaho Alert (named for the group’s pioneer poster pony, so to speak).
“Thousands of horses are missing or stolen each year,” Metcalfe said. “When a horse is missing, time is of the essence.”
Net Posse posts photos, descriptions, and other details online that may lead to identification and recovery of missing horses. The posts are circulated through various social networking sites, instantaneously alerting the horse world and placing countless potential witnesses on alert.
Metcalfe has authored a book titled Horse Theft: Been There - Done That, to educate horse owners about equine theft and prevention.
Way to go, Idaho!
Click here to search Net Posse's active reports on missing horses.
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Last year’s A to Z post: Ideal Independence
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Idaho photos provided by Debi Metcalfe
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