Rebel, a 30-year old Morgan-Arab mix horse that broke out of his Skyline Drive corral sometime before midnight on New Year’s Eve, has been found.
“He looks to be OK,” said Rebel’s owner Milli Martin.
Martin suspects the cause of Rebel’s disappearance was noise from fireworks being shot off by end-of-year revelers.
She discovered the horse was missing when she went out to feed him at 6 a.m. Wednesday. Since moose have been hanging around Martin’s home, she waited until daylight before investigating further.
After discovering Rebel had broken through the fence on the corral’s west side Martin focused her search on the half-mile separating her home from neighbors who have a horse and a mule, thinking Rebel might have headed that direction. Falling snow made it impossible to pick up a trail, but a passing motorist stopped to tell Martin that Rebel had been spotted around midnight, running east on Skyline Drive.
With the help of friends, Martin searched for the missing animal Wednesday and again this morning. Facebook pages and websites carried a photo and description of the 900-pound animal, helping spread the news of its disappearance.
A call around noon today alerted Martin that Rebel had wandered into the yard of an Eagle Aerie residence.
“Thank you to everybody,” said Martin to those who helped with the search.
Since 1985, fireworks have been banned in the Kenai Peninsula Borough. An attempt to overturn the ban was entertained by the borough assembly in April, but was unanimously rejected.
Dr. Jennifer Bando of Homer Veterinary Clinic said it is not uncommon for animals to react to fireworks. Reactions vary, as do the severity of those reactions. In canines, panting, whining and shaking might be evident. Cats tend to hide.
Some animals respond to efforts to desensitize them, but others require more severe interventions, such as prescriptive medications.
“We do see quite a few patients who have animals stressed about loud noises, particularly fireworks,” said Bando. “It’s pretty common that they have noise phobias.”
McKibben jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.