Mule reunited with owner after getting loose during blizzard

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A mule wandering around Intech Park on the northwest side after the blizzard Wednesday was safely captured and reunited with its owner.

Sadie was a little spooked after wandering the area near around the office park Tuesday and Wednesday. After several sightings, Indianapolis Animal Care and Control was called in.

“Yeah, she doesn’t seem to be bothering too, too many people,” said Officer Lee Callahan.  “We just keep getting calls about her so we need to try to get her out of here.”

At first glance, it looked like capturing Sadie was going to be a piece of cake.  Well, after a few minutes of cat and mouse, Sadie had enough and took off with a trot into some nearby fields. Out in the open, things got interesting.

“Oh no, you’re not going to get that close to her,” said Elex Franklin. “I’ve tried for three days.”

Franklin should know because he’s Sadie’s owner.

“She’s just wild, can’t be caught,” Franklin said. “That’s the first time she’s got loose. When she got loose, she’s enjoying her freedom and she doesn’t want to be caught.”

It seemed like Sadie was enjoying her freedom so much that one animal control officer wasn’t enough.  So he called in a few reinforcements.

It was three against one. They got close a few times.  But, no luck.  Sadie just laughed at their futile attempt to corral her.  Animal control officers said they are just worried she’s going to get hurt.

“We definitely don’t want her to get into traffic,” said Officer Callahan. “We wouldn’t want her to get hit and we wouldn’t want any civilians getting hurt by hitting her.

An hour later, Sadie was still on the run.

“Every time she heads toward this way and she knows what’s going to happen she’ll go another way,” said Franklin.

Animal Care and Control Officers eventually gave up the chase and said it’s on the owner to capture Sadie.

Around 8 p.m. Thursday, a truck hauling a big red trailer pulled into the Fox59 parking lot. Inside the trailer, Sadie!

Volunteers from the Hearts and Hoofs Equine Ministry from Monrovia, Ind. drove about 30 minutes to help rescue Sadie.

Josh Whitaker and his wife, volunteers with the organization, and a friend worked to coral the mule on horseback.

It took them about an hour to wrangle Sadie safely into the trailer. She was later reunited with her owner.

Original video:


  • duke

    I,m glad to see animal control doing something besides sitting in vans drinking coffee, and I,m glad to see one fall on his ass.

    • rebecca patterson

      lee is a good man he dont drink coffee i dont belieave and he has cought a lot of animals that are running free and found homes for them so i must say he is a very good officer for animal control…..

  • Linda

    It's ridiculous they are giving up….she's gonna get hit or injured somehow…can't they shoot her with a bit of tranquilizer?

  • Jenn

    Mules can be male or female. And I don't think the article says how she got loose. But I don't think he could keep it in a stall ALL the time and never let it out.

    • Jane

      You are so correct Jenn, an aimal of any kind needs some feedom of movemnt. I have lived on a farm most of my life, and it's ok for them so have a stall, but not all the time. Animals like to have freedom
      of movement the same as you or I. To leave an animal in a stall all the time is a bit cruel. I love all animals, and was raised to respect and care for them.

  • Linda Mansfield

    Try a bucket of grain. Approach her quietly, speak to her quietly and with encouragement, but DO NOT have eye contact, because she'll see that as a threat. If she's been running for three days she's hungry, and she should eventually come. After she's been eating for a minute or so, quietly put a lead line around her neck. Then halter her and lead her home. I've owned horses for more than 30 years and patience is what you need the most. And as my vet would say, "I KNOW you're smarter than that animal, so figure something out!" 🙂

  • Linda Mansfield

    Oh…if that photo is accurate, she already has a halter on and is dragging a lead line. Even better! Grain is the solution. She has absolutely no idea what she wants at this point, but she knows she's hungry.

  • Chris

    Where is the care in Animal Care and Control? It's just like them to walk away when things get a little tough. Their motto is "you catch it and we will come and get it sooner or later" what a joke they are. They need to be held accountable for their lack of action.

  • Lisa

    From the owners here at Hearts & Hooves Equine Ministry we just want to say thank you to all those who have commented on our organization. We feel our "people" are the best at what they do & they do it because they have the heart to serve. Please feel free to check out our facebook page & see what we are all about!!! Thank you again for all the nice comments & thank you to Fox 59 for the nice interview, God Bless!

  • trentroy

    Sadie looks like a donkey to me, not a mule. She is certainly adorable, and I'm so glad Hearts & Hooves rescued her.

  • thewarsteiner

    Not to difficult to use a female horse to lead it back or a roper off horseback can catch her up and lead her back

  • Neil

    I work with BLM Burros/donkeys. That means that they used to run wild out west. 1) Sadie looks more like a miniature horse with a longer ears, but not donkey or mule ears.
    2) Animals that ran in the wild, will generally prefer to be outside than in a stall. They should have shelter of course, but given a choice, they will more likely stay outside the barn even in bad weather.
    3) Someone should teach animal control not to chase horses, donkeys or mules. Pick a location you want them to go that is controlled and pushing that way. Chasing them, does make great video!
    4) the persons that posted about a mule being a cross is correct.
    6) Donkey is English, Burro is Spanish and Ass is Latin for the same animals. A male is a jack hence the term "jackass".
    7) Think of a mule as half ass. That is half donkey/burro/ass and half horse.

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