SEBRING - Darryl Scott, director of Highlands County Animal Control, still hopes to find the person who dumped off a malnourished horse in the middle of a road near Lake Placid back on March 28.
Whether or not that person is caught, though, Scott is trying to place the horse in a good adoptive home.
"He's up for adoption now, if somebody can come by and show that they've got a place to put him and he'll be well taken care of," Scott said.
When Animal Control officers picked up the abandoned horse, Scott said, it was in "very poor condition" and appeared to be an old horse.
Recently, though, after gaining weight from a steady diet in Animal Control's care, the horse was certified as healthy by a veterinarian, who estimated his age at between five to eight years.
Scott said the horse was in such poor condition when he was abandoned "that I thought he was much older than that."
"Since we've had him," Scott added, "he's fleshed out and he's looking a lot better. He's putting on weight and he's calmed down, and he's actually a nice little horse. He has a good disposition, other than his 'cribbing' (chewing on boards)."
The horse is s stud horse who deserves a good home, the animal control director said. A veterinarian has certified that the horse passed the Coggins test, Scott said.
"The only thing he really needs, in my opinion, is that he'd probably have a better disposition if he were castrated, and he could have his feet trimmed," he added.
Several people expressed interest in adopting the horse after stories about how the horse was abandoned and picked up by Animal Control.
"But," Scott said, "he was in poor condition when he first came to us and we weren't ready to let him go at that time. He needed to be evaluated by a vet and we wanted him to put on some weight."
People interested in adopting the horse should call Animal Control at 655-6475.
Pictures of the horse when he first came to Animal Control are still posted on the agency's link on the Highlands County government web site, www.hcbcc.net. Scott said he's still hoping somebody can identify the horse or its owner or where it came from.
"I'd still like to find whoever dumped it on the side of a road," Scott said. "That's something you just can't do, dump livestock in a road."