Mystery pony found wandering Norwalk streets gets a new home just in time for Christmas
It seems that the mystery -- and it's a big one -- surrounding a wayward Shetland pony found wandering the streets of Norwalk earlier this month may never be solved.
The pony -- a friendly, well-behaved and well-groomed male believed to be 7 to 8 years old -- was rescued from city traffic by a Southeast Area Animal Control Authority officer, and SEAACA staff assumed, naturally, that someone would come looking for him.
No such luck.
The origins of the pony, who received the nicknames "Big Boy" and "Big Dog" during his several-week stay at SEAACA's Downey shelter facility, are still unknown. Although his calm demeanor led animal control officers to guess that he'd been a well-treated pet -- perhaps even employed giving pony rides to children or as a therapy animal -- no one stepped forward to claim him.
Authorities even canvassed the area where he was found to inquire about the identity of his owner, to no avail.
Although shelter staffers grew fond of Big Boy, it was clear he needed a new home -- and as of today, he's got one. An Anaheim family, the Sandovals, heard about the pony and decided he'd fit right in at their ranch in Riverside County, where they already kept several horses. "Mr. Sandoval was very diligent in keeping in touch with us, even sending photos of his property and his animals," said Aaron Reyes, SEAACA's director of operations.
But Sandoval's two teenage daughters were apparently the driving force behind his desire to adopt Big Boy. The girls, ages 13 and 17, "love horses and begged [their father] to call us to adopt Big Boy," Reyes explained. His younger daughter in particular "adores horses. I cannot wait to see the look in her eyes when she meets the pony. I hear she's quite the horse charmer."
These two horse-loving girls -- and their new pony -- certainly have a merry Christmas in store for them: The Sandovals will bring Big Boy home this afternoon, just in time for the holiday. So, although the mystery surrounding Big Boy will likely perplex us for years to come (who loses a pony and doesn't notice -- or care about -- his absence?), we're pleased to report that his story, at the very least, has a happy ending.
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: Animal control officer Ken Williams calms Big Boy the mystery pony at the SEAACA shelter in Downey on Dec. 4. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times