A 900-pound rescue horse was taken from his home at the Southwest Florida Horse Rescue near Babcock Ranch. Whiskey the horse has been missing for three days, and all that’s left behind are clues and hoof prints.
Whisky is a medium to small brown horse with white markings. TSouthwest Florida Horse Rescue says someone stole whisky late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.
The horses at the rescue mean the world to co-founder Matt Venaleck. “We don’t rescue horses to keep. We rescue horses to get them out of a bad situation ”
Venaleck fears Whisky is in another bad situation.
Whiskey. (Credit: Southwest Florida Horse Rescue)
Volunteer Teri Spilotros has worked with Whiskey since he arrived at the rescue five months ago. “I just, it breaks my heart. I can’t get it out of my head.”
So what evidence does the horse rescue have to work from to find Whiskey? Veneleck said the gates were left open between the paddocks. The other evidence that was left behind was a bucket and a wrapping that had a hose inside. The bucket is used to lure the horses, and the hose was used to lead Whisky out of the barn.
WINK News rode around the rescue with Veneleck in a golf cart as he showed us how he believes this all panned out.
We followed the clues; a pile of manure leading to thinned-out branches off the property and a trail of hoof prints left behind.
They also believe Whisky would let strangers get close to him, making him an easier target.
“He is a very non-fearful horse. He would be approachable enough but not run away,” said Veneleck.
“So are they feeding him? Are they taking care of them? Is he shoved in a trailer somewhere? I just, it’s all the worst, is what I’m thinking,” said Spilotros.
The owners have put up fliers with pictures of Whiskey and are offering a cash reward for information that leads to the horse.
If you have any information about Whiskey’s whereabouts or who might have taken him, please contact the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.