Meet LeRoy the Wonderpony, caught wandering around a suburban Home Depot parking lot with an oddly angled back leg… Our BUCKET FUND boy for February.

Imagine you needed to pick up some paint or light bulbs at your neighborhood Home Depot one Saturday morning…  As you motor around the white painted lines, looking for that perfect spot, you see a frantic pony skip-running around the parking lot.  OMG!  This is not expected, for sure!

One look and you would have known that the little pony was not OK.  One look would have told you that this poor thing was very scared, had an ‘off’ gait and was decidedly very lost.  Abandoned.

Wouldn’t your heart just drop?  Wouldn’t you be terrified for his safety as he ran crazily around all those cars?!

LeRoy was loose, running around a Home Depot parking lot


Luckily for LeRoy, this now named disheveled and crippled pony, someone in the lot was his angel that day.  This person recognized him.  She knew she had seen him in abject conditions, confined inhumanely in a nearby yard.  Now he was loose. She had to help him.

A note written by the lady who found LeRoy in the parking lot of Home Depot


Wonderful humans ran around after LeRoy for over an hour, trying to capture him safely.  Once they got him, one of them kept LeRoy calm while someone else went for a trailer.  Another person phoned Animal Control.

Animal Control arrived.  The pony was not ‘right’ but not dire.  He decided to make a special call…

Here's LeRoy after being caught... he looks fine... happy enough


The AC called The HOOVED ANIMAL HUMANE SOCIETY.  HAHS, a 501(c)3, has been around for a long time and has established a stellar reputation by ethically, lovingly and efficiently helping needy animals over many years.   So even though HAHS was two hours away from this Home Depot parking lot, the officer knew he had to call them

Upon closer inspection - YIKES! He was running around on that leg!


Dr. Patti Klein is the veterinarian and Executive Director of HAHS.  Upon receiving the call for help from the Animal Control Officer, she immediately assumed responsibility for the pony, rushing around to fill out the legal paperwork, and then arranged for him to be brought to a nearby equine hospital.  While LeRoy was in transit, Dr. Klein prepared the staff at the University of Wisconsin that LeRoy was on his way.

He was standing fine, no irregular pulse, no sweating, no obvious signs of pain...

LeRoy arrived without incident and hopped out of the trailer (yes, on that leg…) to meet the kind people at the University of Veterinarian Medicine in Madison, WI.   Everyone there sat around, staring at this pony with the misshapen back leg and scratched their heads…  There was no doubt that LeRoy had a severely oddly angled back leg.  Yet, he was walking.  He could pick up his front feet.  He could trot.  He ate and drank.  He was shy but personable.  He seemed fine – except for that twisted back leg.  Was it a tendon thing?  Had he severed his tendons that supported his ankle?  But why no pain?  They had no idea.  This was an odd case indeed.   Radiographs would tell the fine doctors what LeRoy needed.  Except no one, NO ONE was prepared for what they saw…

Obviously, long ago, someone had wrapped his leg -- his feet hadn't been trimmed...


OMG.  The entire staff at the Veterinary School gasped.  How could this be?  Clearly, LeRoy had a complete oblique displaced fracture of the distal left 3rd metatarsal.  Huh?  He wasn’t in pain!  He was standing on it!  He could pick up his front feet!  He was eating and drinking.  His pulses were fine.  He wasn’t sweating…  It was impossible that such a severe fracture could be inside of this pony.

But it was.  You see, LeRoy had been dealing with this for at least four months.  4 months! He had gone through the excruciating pain, unaided, and the fracture had closed enabling him to motor about.  He was one in a million.


Oh gag. Hurts just looking at this totally broken leg


Another view... it doesn't look any better


Usually, with a fracture like this…well, you know what happens.  But on this record day, these astounded doctors had to think outside the box.  Clearly LeRoy was not in danger of dying and he didn’t seem to be in pain.  But, how could he have survived this traumatic of an injury?  And, what would his life be like if they did nothing… what would his life be like if they did do something…  There was much to consider.

One doctor stated in awe, “He sure knew how to take care of himself… Most horses with this kind of an injury would have continued to damage the leg beyond repair.”

All the good doctors discussed the situation before them and decided that this tough little pony deserved a chance at a better life.  LeRoy was only 15 years old and he had plenty of life ahead.  He had been so careful to save himself from further damage, the doctors felt they owed it to him to help.  It was determined that they would repair the leg and try to get it back to a sound position.  The doctors called Dr. Klein at HAHS with their recommendation.

Without hesitation, HAHS said they would raise funds to pay for LeRoy’s surgery.  But, the hospital didn’t wait for money… they trusted that the funds would be raised and proceeded immediately to help little LeRoy.  Very Nice.

Wonderpony LeRoy, in his stall at the hospital, awaiting surgery


LeRoy had his surgery.  The doctors and techs said that LeRoy was an absolute dream to work around.  (Except he hates needles…) He recovered from the immediate surgery and now everyone is holding their breath hoping nothing goes wrong and that everything holds in place while he has time to heal.  He is fine.  He is careful.  The cast has maintained.  Nothing has moved.  All the screws are in line.  He just has to heal…  Hopefully, he will – just like he healed himself when no one was around to help him.

He is back at HAHS and they watch him like he’s a delicate egg.  Everyone is pulling for this sweet little Shetland.  Everyone wants him to fully recover and have a sound life.  He has captured the hearts of all who meet his shaggy little face.

Screws holding it together

Side view

Nice work.


I think this resourceful pony, who was so neglected, who survived a broken leg, who took care of himself, who busted out of his intolerable pen and who found himself lost and frightened in a Home Depot parking lot, deserves some help.  LeRoy, the wonderpony, has done enough on his own.

Atta boy, LeRoy, atta boy!


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LeRoy in recovery at the hospital... Can we help him?

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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

14 comments have been posted...

  1. Pingback: UPDATE DAY! LeRoy, Itsuko and Admiralty and The Chincoteague Ponies after Irene! | Horse and Man |

  2. dawndi Post author

    This is a tough one…
    I don’t know the laws in Illinois and I’m not a lawyer. But, from what I have heard, Animal Control deemed LeRoy “abandoned” so that they could take control of him and his destiny immediately when they found him at Home Depot. By doing this, they were able to make arrangements for HAHS to take responsibility who then was able to negotiate for him to be seen at the Equine hospital and the subsequent surgery.
    If there was an owner involved, they would not have been able to take action until all the court processes.
    And, LeRoy cannot be sent back to the owner either. Another good thing. The negligent owner will never be able to claim him AFTER he has had all of this medical attention and care.
    Again, I don’t know the laws, I just know that the immediate decision to snag him and help him was a better idea (according to those who were there) than involving whomever the owner might have been.

  3. Appaloosa

    Great job. Would like to know the rest of the story though. If this animal was in a bad situation why wasn’t it reported? That makes the person that knew of the abuse a guilty party. Was the original owner ever arrested and charged? That is the rest of the story that NEEDS to be told. When people hear of the great deeds done by others it is heart warming and warm and fuzzy. The reality is that people wait for others to take action and the responsible parties walk away. I want to know if charges were filed and if this person went to jail!

  4. Kelea Nevis

    God has plans for people like those who helped LeRoy and also for the likes of those who didn’t help him – and I wouldn’t want to be the latter.

  5. Lydia Lyman

    How cute is this ‘lil’ guy and those whom have helped him are his angels too! im sooo soooo sooooo happy somone has saved this little guy some help and gave him a life like the rest of us have had! bless him. This has made me one very happy and proud person to know theres people out there who can help animals who cant fend for thereselvs that well, GOD BLESS THIS LITTLE MAN AND ALL THE BEST FOR THE REST OF HIS WONDERFUL PROUD LIFE!!!! <3<3

  6. Anne

    “Thank goodness this wandering wonder pony found people who are willing to care for him and people like Dawn willing to help !

    bless those for donating; ps the awful leg wrap; glad that is gone!

  7. Kari Kii

    What a tough sweet , little guy. Ponies have always been known for being hardy. This is just miraculous. What a great group at the vet hospital to take care of himm. They are his Angels. Thank you for being human and using you heart instead of thinking of money first. Welcome to a real life Leroy!

  8. Kim Williams

    God Bless everyone that has helped Leroy!!! He had angels on his side

  9. Kim Williams

    If can find someone in area that has an eledtro-acuscope and electro-myoscope it can help him heal faster and head off any other problems. If i was inthe area i would help(in Florida) If have any questions call 904-813-9539 info on the instruments

  10. Melanie Rowley

    I donated to his expenses. How sad he had to find his own help, and can’t understand why whoever saw him in bad conditions didn’t do something months ago.

    Thankfully, maybe his bad times are over.

  11. Marty Tadtman

    Bless his heart and all of those who have helped him. My heart swells with pride and love for those who took this little guy into their hearts and helped him.I just made my donation and it is with pleasure and graditude!!!Thank you again for helping him…..

  12. Shelly Katchur

    I think it’ Awesome what everyone has done for Le Roy!!! What I feel is, He was never alone. His Guardian Angels were with him through his horrible ordeal, keep him safe and had him do what he needed to do in order for his leg to heal so he was at least out of pain and able to walk until he was found by very special people! I think GOD has a Special journey for Le Roy, He sent him to those who could get him back to a sound position. I believe with all the help and care he received from all the Wonderful people, somewhere on his journey he will be helping children and others in need of a touch, hug or love from Le Roy! He will bring Love, Happiness and Joy to a lot of others as they did for him! We need more people like you all who would do this much for a little scared Shetland Pony found in a parking lot, who needed a lot of help! GOD Bless those who took their time to help and care for one of GODS’ creations’. A little Shetland Pony named Le Roy the Wonderpony!!! I hope to hear more of his Journey in the near future!!!
    Thank you for sharing Le Roy’s Story!!!

  13. Karen Botta

    Having done my share of rescues, even this is beyond words. What a smart little man he is, he took care of himself and then took it upon himself to find a new home!

    Thanks to all who helped this amazing and wonderful Pony !!!

  14. Peggy Dignum

    Atta Boy Le Roy!!! Thank you to everyone who helped!! XO for Le Roy!!

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