Apache the horse has been living in a south Toledo neighborhood on and off for the past two years.
Wayne Banks has owned the 14-year-old horse for several years and keeps him at a farm in Michigan for part of the year. He brings him into the city for the warmer months, where he rides him around vacant lots and city streets.
In an interview with 13 ABC, Banks said:
"He's a great little horse. He is my baby, my buddy. I love animals. I have had him for about four years. He's great with kids, that's why I got him, for the kids. He does not kick, buck, or get scared by things. He is very well trained. I have been working with him since I bought him."
One of his favorite parts about having Apache in town is that he gets to introduce people to the joys of horses and sometimes even take people for a ride.
"You get a lot of looks. People on phones taking pictures. When I ride up to a traffic light, people will roll down their windows and say hello to Apache. They don't know me, but they know my horse. For every five negative comments I might get about the horse, I get 500 positives. He's having fun, I am having fun and so are a lot of kids."
Stephen Heaven, President and CEO of TAHS, said they are working with Banks to make sure Apache is getting the best care possible.
"People have their own thoughts and standards about how a horse should be kept," Heaven said. "Of course, we can only go by the law and work with someone like Wayne and encourage him to do things that are more acceptable."
A TAHS veterinarian who checked on Apache found the horse to be in relatively good health; however, some changes were made.
"We've increased the quality and quantity of his food," Heaven said. "The horse has water. Of course as it gets colder and rain and snow come, we are very concerned about the horse not having a way to get out of the elements and into a shelter."
Though Heaven said that the legal definition of adequate shelter is very broad when it comes to horses and other livestock, he hopes that people will pitch in to help Apache get a roof over his head. This effort will take volunteers, as well as donations of lumber and other supplies.
"We always want to keep animals with their owners, that is our number one goal," Heaven said. "In this case the problem is easy to solve, and a lot of people want to help solve it. Hopefully, we can get a shelter built and get Apache in his new quarters soon."
What do you think about horses living in the city? Share your thoughts below.
All images via 13 ABC.
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