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A horse tale

© St. Petersburg Times
published April 18, 2003

The call came in to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 8 a.m. Feb. 18.

A horse has been hit by a car and is lying in a ditch along the road, the voice on the phone said.

When deputies arrived at Back Road in Plant City, they found that the horse had not been hit. She was so malnourished and weak that she couldn't stand. Her 9-month-old colt stood nearby, nosing at the grass.

After two veterinarians examined the mare, deputies euthanized her. They took the colt to their animal impound site in Plant City and nursed him back to health.

Two months and 80 pounds later, the colt, now named Tribute, was taken to even greener pastures.

The Sheriff's Office donated him to the Florida Sheriff's Boys Ranch in Live Oak last week. He'll join about 50 other horses on the ranch, which serves troubled youths.

The owner of the horses, Marjorie Lynn MacLean of Plant City, was charged with felony and misdemeanor cruelty to animals.

-- Janet Zink can be reached at 661-2441 or .

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