Iowa City Animal Services is looking for the owner of a female pony found wandering next to the river near the Terry Trueblood Recreation Area on Tuesday.
“Hopefully, we can find her owner. If not, we will try to find a place for her,” said Iowa City Animal Center supervisor Liz Ford.
As of Thursday morning, an owner still hadn’t come forward. In the meantime, the pony is being cared for off-site through a foster program, since Ford noted the shelter isn’t equipped to care for stray ponies.
Ford said the pony, estimated to be in its 20s, was pretty docile.
“It took about 15 minutes tops to catch her,” Ford said.
Ben Smith of Iowa City said he originally saw the pony on Monday when he was hiking in the park, looking for mushrooms.
“I looked over and thought, ‘There’s a deer. That’s kind of big for a deer … whoa,'” he said.
He said they were able to get pretty close to it and it seemed domesticated, although the horse, whose hair was matted and disheveled, seemed a bit rough. Smith reported that there were many piles of horse droppings, so he thought the pony had been there for a while.
Animal services was closed due to the holiday, so Smith called the police. But the log showed that the police were unable to find the pony, which prompted him to call animal services on Tuesday.
Smith said he’s been keeping tabs on the pony through news articles.
“Hopefully, I’d like to see it reconnected to where it goes; to it’s owner. And if not — if it was dumped — find it a new home,” he said.
Anyone with information about the possible identity of the pony’s owner can call Iowa City Animal Services at 319-356-5295 ext. 7 or the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356-6800.