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 Johnny “Appleseed” Wayne

Johnny “Appleseed” Wayne

Indiana, USA
Death 24 Apr 2011
Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 69532220 · View Source
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April 25, 2011 11:28 a.m.
Horse put down after being hit on Auburn Road

A beautiful Horse that was allowed to run loose and was struck by a vehicle Sunday in north Fort Wayne suffered injuries serious enough that it had to be euthanized Easter Sunday, said Belinda Lewis, the director of the city's Animal Care & Control division.

Between 6 and 7 a.m., a driver called authorities to report that she'd collided head-on with a horse in the middle of Auburn Road. "It was dark out. The horse went down and stayed down for a few minutes, got up and ran away before any officials got here," Lewis said, adding that the vehicle was significantly damaged and that the driver was not hurt.

A search for the horse Sunday morning was unsuccessful, but in the afternoon, a passerby reported seeing it along Auburn Road, an area with rolling terrain and woods. Near a house in the 8400 block of Auburn, animal control officers caught the horse. Lewis, who's not accustomed to handling horses, fashioned a halter using a dog leash to help control the skittish animal, which appeared to be a quarter horse.

On Thursday, two horses – a gelding and a filly – were found grazing unattended in Johnny Appleseed Park in Fort Wayne, but Lewis said nothing suggests those horses, which were in need of care and apparently had been abandoned, are linked to the horse injured Sunday.

"I would not jump to any kind of conclusion like that at this time," she said. "I would simply call it coincidence."

On Sunday, veterinarian Grant Minnemeyer was called to assess the injured horse. He arrived about 4 p.m. and determined the animal was suffering from shock, severe pain and internal hemorrhaging. Minnemeyer, with Conley and Koontz Equine Hospital in Columbia City, ruled that "the only humane thing to do at this point was euthanasia," Lewis said. "He said there was no question."

The horse, which had a deep chest wound and injuries to its legs, was euthanized as it lay in a row of trees and shrubs. Before the vet showed up, animal control officers comforted the young male horse, petting its mane and supporting its head.

"This is not a common situation. It's very unfortunate for whoever the owner is. It's quite possible that the owner doesn't even know at this point that they're missing their horse," Lewis said. "It's possible this horse is escaped from a fence or a barn area, and they just don't know yet."

Authorities checked with local stables, but none was missing a horse or knew who owned the horse.

Sgt. Bill Walsh of the Fort Wayne Police Department helped the animal control officers at the scene.

Walsh, a former mounted officer who owns several horses, reflected on the sad events.

"I had to put a couple horses down and I hated doing it, but sometimes you're forced into it," he said. "It's hard when it's not even my horse."

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