MILACA, Minn. (KMSP) - A beloved 2-year-old Clydesdale vanished in the middle of the night without a trace in Milaca late Thursday night, and her owners fully believe she was stolen.
They have searched every inch of their property and had their neighbors search, but no one has seen a hoof print, a break in the fence, or manure -- which leads them to believe Penelope was lured out of her stable and off their property.
Between 8 p.m. last Thursday night and 3:30 a.m. Friday morning, Penelope disappeared.
“We decided to bring them at 3:30 in the morning; my husband was home so he did that. He came in and let me know that one was missing and it was Penelope,” Hope Shendel said.
Hope and her husband started the search in the dark that night and it has continued every day since. But nearly a week later, they have yet to find a single clue as to where the Clydesdale could have gone.
“We walked the line, the fence line over and over to see if there was any trampled grass or piles of manure and we couldn’t find anything,” Hope said.
“They could have easily walked through our gate line, pulled up a fence post, there’s probably a lot of ways. We believe she was led right out, she was the friendliest horse we have.”
With a price tag of well over $5,000, they believe the suspects did it for money—“We think someone maybe would have brought her to an auction and sold her as a grade Clydesdale.”
The Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office says the case has been filed as a “missing animal’ and they currently aren’t investigating it as a theft.
Hope says word on the street is that between Princeton and Milaca, seven horses have gone missing in the last week. Fox 9 was unable to confirm that with authorities.
If you know any tips that could lead to Penelope’s return, please call the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office at (320) 983-8250.