GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WGFL) -- Alachua County Sheriff's deputies say they've solved the mystery of a lost and injured horse found near I-75 last week.
The staff of Springhill Equine Veterinary Clinic nicknamed the horse "Teddy Bear Highway" while treating him for significant injuries. The Alachua County Sheriff's Office asked the public for help identifying its owner.
Now the sheriff's office says the mystery has been solved. In a Facebook post updated today, deputies say the horse had been given to the driver of a trailer who was taking the horse to be euthanized, but Teddy Bear Highway had other plans.
Deputies say he somehow got out of the trailer as it was being hauled on I-75 at night. A truck driver later spotted the open trailer and alerted the driver. Deputies say he will face abandonment charges for leaving the animal on the side of the road.
Deputies say previous owners of the horse said they were surprised the horse was being taken to be euthanized because it had been well-care for in the past.
The sheriff's office said they most recent owner has surrendered custody of the horse to them. They say there's a legal process they have to follow but hope to find him a good home.