OPELOUSAS, LA (WAFB) - A man paid only $15 to the Dominique Sale Barn in Opelousas and became the new owner of a 22-year-old thoroughbred mare.
Officials with St. Landry Animal Control say $15 was the highest bid for the animal. The sale took place about three weeks ago, however, the mare was found wandering the streets of a neighborhood, searching for food on Wednesday, January 3. The mare is currently being held at the St. Landry Animal Control shelter on Hanger Street in Opelousas.
Officers were able to track down the owner thanks to the sale tag on the horse's tail, and rather than face criminal charges for neglect, the new owner surrendered the horse to authorities.
But now, the mare needs surgery. After a medical exam, it was found the horse has a cancerous growth on one of her eyes and a laceration on her hind leg. Veterinarians say her eye cannot be saved and it will have to be surgically removed. The surgery will be performed at the Acadiana Equine Clinic in Opelousas and is expected to cost at least $700.
The mare has become a bit of a star on social media. Her story has been shared around Louisiana and the country. Animal Control officers have named her Evangeline the $15 Horse, or Eva 15 for short. Those who named her say they felt it was important to add the 15 to her name to emphasize the low value the public can sometimes place on an animal's life.
The Humane Society of Louisiana is raising money for Eva 15's surgery. Donations can be made online here, on the humane society's Facebook page, or through the mail to P.O. Box 740321, New Orleans, LA 70174.