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Mercer County horse returns after missing for almost two weeks

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Posted at 5:28 PM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 18:31:10-04

MERCER COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — If you've ever lost a pet, you know there can be sleepless nights wondering if it will come home.

A woman from Mercer County spent nearly two weeks looking for a 15-year-old horse named Pete. She says it wandered off after a back gate was unintentionally left open. Now, she's thinking maybe Pete had a plan all along.

"When he was young, he was spectacular," said Victoria Esquivel. "He was really, quite handsome."

Esquivel has known Pete since he was just two or three years old. His owner suggested he stay with Esquivel so he could be in the best environment for his needs.

"Something happened and it frightened him," she said about an unfortunate previous encounter Pete had with someone else.

Esquivel says there are times when Pete becomes dangerous if someone is on his back. She says it's best for Pete to just be a horse.

"The analogy is that it's like PTSD in a human," she said. "He has never been able to forget the terror or the pain."

The terror or pain escalated when Pete got out of that back gate and nobody could find him for close to two weeks.

"For two weeks, I slept maybe a total of 15 to 30 minutes a night," Esquivel said. "All I could think of is he has to be really, really frightened."

Esquivel and neighbors searched for Pete on the ground and in the air. One day turned one week, and a week turned nearly two weeks. There was a benefit to that neighborhood search.

"In two weeks' time, [Pete] did more to bring this community together I think than anything in the last few years," Esquivel said.

"When you get something that is that impactful and that emotional and then it's resolved in this way with so many people coming together and being involved, there had to be a purpose," she said.

Pete is safe back on Esquivel's farm. She is thankful for the neighborhood coming together to bring him to safety and is now grateful she is closer with her neighbors who helped with the search.