TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Calls continue to come in to the Toledo Area Humane Society (TAHS) about a horse living in the city.
Apache the horse has been in a south Toledo neighborhood on and off for the last couple years.
TAHS leaders are now working to try to get a shelter built for the horse, and the hope is that some of you can help make that happen.
Apache has been a familiar site around the city for the last two years.
According to the Toledo Area Humane Society, it is legal for Apache to live in the city. The shelter is working with the owner to make sure Apache has the best care possible.
A lot of people have spotted Wayne Banks riding Apache in vacant lots around Toledo or even on city streets, and the humane society gets a lot of calls about the horse.
Wayne says he's owned the 14-year-old horse for several years, "He's a great little horse. He is my baby, my buddy. I love animals. I have had him for about four years. He's great with kids, that's why I got him, for the kids. He does not kick, buck or get scared by things. He is very well trained. I have been working with him since I bought him."
Wayne says the best part about having Apache in town is that people who've never even seen a horse have a chance to pet him and sometimes go for a ride, "You get a lot of looks. People on phones taking pictures. When I ride up to a traffic light, people will roll down their windows and say hello to Apache. They don't know me, but they know my horse. For every five negative comments I might get about the horse, I get 500 positives. He's having fun, I am having fun and so are a lot of kids."
Wayne says he keeps Apache at a farm in Michigan for part of the year, but brings him into the city during the warmer months.
Stephen Heaven is the President and CEO of the Toledo Area Humane Society, "People have their own thoughts and standards about how a horse should be kept. Of course, we can only go by the law and work with someone like Wayne and encourage him to do things that are more acceptable."
A TAHS veterinarian recently came to check on Apache. Heaven says the horse is in relatively good health, but some changes have been made, "We've increased the quality and quantity of his food. The horse has water. Of course as it gets colder and rain and snow come, we are very concerned about the horse not having a way to get out of the elements and into a shelter."
Heaven says the legal definition of adequate shelter is very broad when it comes to horses and other livestock. He says under the law, something like a tree could be considered shelter. The hope is that people will pitch in to help Apache get a roof over his head.
he effort will take volunteers. Donations of lumber and other supplies for a shelter would also be helpful, "We always want to keep animals with their owners, that is our number one goal. In this case the problem is easy to solve, and a lot of people want to help solve it. Hopefully, we can get a shelter built and get Apache in his new quarters soon."
If you would like to help with the effort to build a shelter for Apache, we've posted a link to the Toledo Area Humane Society.