A sad update from Chincoteague on the fate of the foal named Dreamer’s Faith. On October 14, the Chincoteague Police Department reported that the body of the little filly was found in an overgrown corner of a corral on the fire department’s carnival grounds. A lawn maintenance contractor found her in a corner where she seemed to have been fatally tangled. An accidental death, not a theft after all.
On Friday, the Volunteer Fire Department who cares for the herd provided an update via Facebook:
Good morning everyone. I promised you another update today, so after another 2 hour Board Of Directors meeting last night I will give you my final report on the happenings of “Dreamers Faith”. Yes I did say “Final”. When you are done reading this report, please read it again and then again. Our answers are in this update. You can ask the same question many different ways, but it will still be the same question. We have spent many, many hours looking into exactly what happened to this little pony. This is our conclusion, along with the Chincoteague Police Dept. It is our belief that “Dreamers Faith” was either spooked by something or went into the patch of bushes where she was found and became tangled in the vines and branches. This is where she died. She didn’t die and we buried her to cover up anything. She just died. The area where she died has not been “bulldozed over” or covered up to hide anything. We removed the large, main branch that had broken off and fallen in between the two trees to make sure another pony doesn’t get tangled up the way this one did. We may clear out the whole area at a later date, but not until enough of you have seen where this area is.
Now, with that being said, you have asked several legitimate questions. How can you find 150 ponies on the beach, but you can’t find one pony on the carnival grounds? Its simple, we weren’t looking for her! That’s right, that’s what I said, we just stopped looking. After meeting with our police chief, it became evident how fast this went from a “lost and found” to a crime scene. When we thought she was stolen because of the information that was collected, why should we have kept looking in plain sight? People, we “thought” she was not on the grounds. We moved on, taking care of the rest of our ponies and left the investigation to the proper authorities. We had been looking for a “LIVE” little pony, running around somewhere, not a deceased one, not moving. We can not apologize for this and won’t. We did our best job finding a live pony. We have been asked, why did someone not smell something where she was found. Several people did, but we have found deceased animals, such as raccoons and deer in this area in the past, again, we were not looking for a deceased pony. We really thought the pony was taken.
Now for some answers to the questions you have asked.
1. The reward fund was for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thief. There was never a crime scene so there was no arrest. We are offering a portion of the reward to the lawn care company that we employ as a good faith offer for bringing this to an end. Weather they accept it or not, is up to them. The rest, at the request of the donors, will be returned to you or put in the new camera system we are still installing, (to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again).
2. The camera system will be approximately $15,000 to $18,000. We are not putting a cheap system in. We hope this system will help satisfy our supporters that your inputs are being taking seriously.
3. As far as a autopsy or necropsy. Our veterinarian will do every test possible with the remains we have, even though we feel 100%, that our findings are correct. That being, the pony got stuck in an area that it could not get out of and died.
4. Again, why did we not miss it at feeding time? because we did not think it was there. Why should we look for an animal that was not supposed to be there?
5. The white truck/trailer/white electric car were the best we and the police had to run with. Many leads came in and were checked but did not help because it turned out to be a “lost and found” not a crime scene. Therefor the leads turned out useless. This has never happened before so we were caught off guard. The mistake of not covering all bases, will not happen again.
6. We are in the process of creating a “incident managing report”. Where ‘as, when we are holding ponies for a length of time. A set of standards will be followed as to the approx. feeding times, type of feed, ensuring a head count, injuries, times of last vet checks, and so on will be documented to all possible extent.
7. Yes, we have been in contact of the family that donated this pony to us and have ensured them that “WE WILL MAKE IT RIGHT FOR THEM”. They have been very understanding with us. No one has to donate any money to a fund to help buy these two little girls a new pony. We, the Chincoteague Vol. Fire Co. will take care of this.
Lastly, we have had a few negative comments made on the social media toward us. It has been stated that this is the worst thing that could ever happen to the fire company or Chincoteague. That this will create a “firestorm”. That we will never recover from this. YOU ARE WRONG. We, the good people of Chincoteague and the Chincoteague Vol. Fire Co. have endured far worse. The great fires of the 20’s, the hurricane of 33, the hurricanes in the 50’s, the ash Wednesday flood of 1962. These are just a few of the obstacles we have overcome. This was an accident. That’s all it was. Not your fault, not our fault. Just an accident with a tragic ending. We are sincerely sorry to all those involved and to those who put their faith in us to keep these ponies safe. We value your faith, please keep it coming so we can continue this long tradition of caring for the world famous “CHINCOTEAGUE WILD PONIES”
Back to Over the Fence
You need new management. Ponies of any age should not be corralled in a manor that could injure them. This death is on your hands. Jumping to the conclusion that she was stolen instead of thoroughly looking for her cost her life.
Very well stated. So sorry for the lose of this little one. When it comes to horses – of any age – if they can get into it, they will
Keep up the good work. It’s on my bucket list to see the ponies swim
Bless you for your work and tragedies do happen to the best of people and organizations even with all the best intentions. Continue your great work for these wonderful ponies and keep them safe. Her sad fate could have happened as easily if she had been running wild. Ignore the haters, they are poison and will take all the good efforts you have for the future well being of these animals. Bless you and the ponies in this time of great sadness.
Lora, get a clue. Horses hurt themselves every day, even in the safest environments. They are doing their best. People have lost touch with reality thinking that animals don’t die in captivity. They do. They are wild animals. Spend time around “tamed” horses and you’ll know that they are animals of prey, they don’t think rationally and they will hurt themselves, especially babies.
horses always find a way to get themselves in trouble. and even those standing in a stall in front of our eyes can get hurt and die. i have been to several round ups and being a horse owner have watched with very critical eyes. and i see how well these ponies have been treated and loved before they are ever adopted or returned. We own a 23 year old chincoteague pony we have had since he was 4 months old when my parents purchased him. This program is an awesome way to keep the wild ponies alive and healthy on the amount of land they have available. thank you for all you do.
So glad you were able to put the little one to rest. Horses are horses and get into trouble all the time…God bless.
Accidents happen learn from it as they have and do something to make it right if possible yes it is sad but appears that amends are being made and its all being put out into the open