Stolen Horse Found Thanks to Facebook

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HAMBDEN TOWNSHIP, Ohio-- A Geauga County woman turned to Facebook hoping friends could help find her beloved horse and found the social networking site led her right to the missing companion.

Jen Stevenson is so happy Peanut, one of her favorite horses, is back. The brown and white paint horse had been missing for two months after someone stole him from his barn in Hamden Township. "I owned his father and when his father died I bought him because he looks like his dad. So, he has a lot of sentimental value," Stevenson said.

Frantic to find Peanut and fearing the worse, Stevenson turned to Facebook to try to get everyone she knows to look for him. “People networked him all around. I had people looking for him at different sale barns. I even notified meat buyer. He took pictures; he was looking for him. Everybody was looking for him. He didn't turn up anywhere.”

Stevenson said she searched Facebook herself and found the barn Peanut was in. "If you're going to do something you shouldn't do, you should keep your profile private," she said.

With the help of Geauga County Sheriff’s deputies, Peanut was rescued from that barn.  “I had a strong feeling that he was local and it was somebody who knew me, knew him and had been in my barn. And I was right," Stevenson added.

There was no mistaking that Peanut is her horse because of his distinct markings. But, the person who took Peanut tried to change his appearance by branding initials on his neck. The initials are a “D” and a backwards “R”.

Stevenson said that offended her. “That's probably just as bad as him getting stolen. The thought that I have to look at her initials on my horse; that doesn't make me very happy," she said.

The Geauga County Sheriff’s office said this is still an active investigation and so far no charges have been filed.

For now, Stevenson said she is just glad Peanut is back. "Just very happy --  Facebook is a powerful tool," she added.

21 comments

  • Steve Stapp

    This is a great ending for a tragic event. I worry though the number of horses in the corral pictured…was that taken at the offenders place? If so are they investigating the ownership of those other horses?

    This horse looks so much like my Takoda. Together we are embarking on a mission of raising the awareness of the general public that there are rescues available that need funding and that our animal cruelty laws are entirely to lax.

    With Congress’ failure thus far to pass the S.A.F.E. Act this kind of thievery will increase…not that this case involves the horse being sold to slaughter but that option still being on the table the temptation to earn a few hundred dollars from a kill buyer is entirely to real in this economy.

  • Jan Davis

    I don’t understand why the thief wasn’t arrested. Why does law enforcement not take horse theft seriously? We want the criminals charged.
    This horse and owner are lucky. Many stolen horses are not found and possibly slaughtered.

    • Sue Cox

      I remember seeing Peanut on Facebook, and sharing in order to find him. Jen do you have any clue as to why she took the horse, and exactly what were her intentions? As for the other horses on her property, they need to be removed at least until proof of ownership can be established.

  • Vicky Johnson

    Charges must be filed – it is the only way to deter horse thieves! Post local authority information so we can contact the authorities to pursue charges.

  • Kathi Bacon

    Definitely charges should be filed! No doubt she has done this before and she will do it again! A thief must pay for her crime!

  • Sue Cox

    I am just assuming you had your vet check the horse out after you got him back. So make sure you hold on to a copy of the bill. Stick her for it in court.

  • Jill Kortan

    Why isn’t this horse thief behind bars, where she should be? That’s crazy having physical evidence such as the horse itself and the person not be punished. The community should learn this thiefs name so they are aware of this person. “D” backwards “R” should be so ashamed to do such a mean thing!! I understand why the “r” is backwards now!

  • Barbara Griffith

    If you want to stop horse slaughter you had better go after your state Senators the ones that represent you and your state in Congress. These are the very people that are ignoring the Safe Act which is S.541 and H.R.1094. There is 162 cosponsors of H.R.1094 there is less than 30 Senators that have cosponsored S. 541. If these Senators continue to ignore S.541 it will die in committee where it has been sitting all these months. This is what happened to all of the anti-slaughter bills that have been introduced in congress for the last ten years. If you really want to protect your horse from being stolen and sold for slaughter then go after your Senators and demand they cosponsor S.541. and pass this bill.

  • Jen stevenson

    the horses and mules in the background of the pictures of peanut are all mine and yes I can provide ownership lol

    and yes I know exactly why the people took the horse but due to pending charges and everything being under investigation still I can’t really say detailsI do not understand either why they’re not behind bars it should pay for the crime they committed
    if anyone would like to follow the progress of the story end of peanut feel free to add me on facebook I will post updates as I can

  • Holly Webb

    Jen I tried to find you on FB, but there are so many Jen Stevensons I don’t know which one you are. Can you post a link for find me and friend me?

  • Terry Wells

    Knowing how the law works, the investigators have to PROVE that the “lady in question” actually removed the horse herself from the barn and/or pasture from which it went missing from. The woman who had the horse is obviously {to me} claiming she either found the horse or it just showed up one day and she was just caring for it until she could “find its owner”. It will be hard to prove that wasn’t true in any case as horses wander away, jump fences and get out often enough that you pretty much have to find someone who seen the theft to get an arrest or conviction. BUT….there IS hope being that that woman DID know the owner of this particular horse and had this horse branded. The legal question is going to be what obligation was she under if she did indeed find the horse wandering or lost and took it in to care for. ANYONE who would go to such lengths to steal a horse like this is crafty and will lie. That’s why I can pretty much know what she has likely told the police and why THEY have not yet filed charges. I am VERY happy, happy, happy that your handsome man is back at home where he belongs and maybe a video motion camera for security might be a good investment for the barn in the very near future. She just might be vindictive enough to try to take him back again and hide him further away or sell him. The branding to me is highly odd. She is highly odd. Good luck and prayers for justice despite her lying to authorities. Thank you to the FB people who assisted you and the Sheriff’s office who took this situation seriously.

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