'Do the right thing': Families desperately hoping for return of stolen horses in Tulare County

Elisa Navarro Image
Thursday, January 26, 2023 2:25PM
'Do the right thing': Families desperately hoping for return of stolen horses in Tulare County
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Two families in Tulare County are searching for their horses, which have been missing since Monday.

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two families in Tulare County are searching for their horses, which have been missing since Monday.

The families say the animals were stolen and are asking for help to bring them home.

Those horses have lived at the same property for over a decade.

On Road 152 in Tulare County, a 13-year-old Friesian gelding named Gjalt and a 10-year-old pony gelding named Pepe grew up loved by many.

"The pony had two little girls who miss him dearly, and everyday, ask for him. The gelding is actually one of the last horses that Pete's brother had bred and he is no longer with us so I mean, they have value," said horse trainer, Leeanne Lloyd.

"Do the right thing and return them. They are like family members and have sentiment to the owners."

Lloyd has worked closely with Gjalt's owner, Pete De Boer.

He was getting ready to feed his horse Monday morning when he noticed Gjalt was missing, along with Pepe.

"I got locks on the gate and everything and they came and cut the gate and cut the chain, that is why they got them," explained De Boer.

"It's unfortunately not uncommon, people steal them thinking they can make money especially with the Friesians because they hold value."

De Boer says he just wants Gjalt to be returned. Pepe's owner, Fallon Vandertuig, says she's been reassuring her young oodaughters they're doing all they can to find the pony.

"We have shared Pepe's pictures so many times and hopefully someone finds him or he is returned. We just love him and spoil him and we just want him back," said Vandertuig.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office Agricultural Crimes Unit is investigating.

Gjalt is microchipped.

There is a $500 reward for anyone who finds the horses.

If you have any information, please call the Tulare County Sheriff's Ag Crimes Unit.

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