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HORSE CHASE: Rush Hour Drivers Dodge Loose Animal

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Des Moines drivers had to dodge a horse on the loose in rush hour traffic this morning.  Witnesses first spotted it on Southeast 14th.  Police and Animal Control officers followed the horse through a few parking lots before it took off running down Army Post Road.

“I was gonna be late for work ‘cuz  there was all this traffic and we were wondering what the heck was going on,” says Ashley Lutman. 

It took her a few moments to see what all the commotion was about.

“All of a sudden we saw this horse jet across the road,” she says.

Lutman’s cell phone video shows cars coming to a standstill as police and animal control tried to corral the quarter horse.  They wanted to keep it out of traffic, but that`s easier said than done.

“The horse just got more scared than anything, I think, and just kept dodging them,” says Lutman.

“He didn`t want to be caught.  He was just out for a stroll,” says Joleen Coughlon.

Coughlon works at Southridge BP and says she wouldn`t have believed it if she hadn’t seen the horse with her own eyes.

“It ran through our little parking lot here and I whistled at it and tried to get it to slow down and it wouldn`t slow down.  It went right down the hill just like he knew what he was doing,” says Coughlon.

“It was kind of scary.  Scary for people driving on SE 14th.  It`s kind of busy so luckily, the horse wasn`t injured and we were able to corral it,” says Josh Colvin with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

It took Animal Control about an hour to finally catch the horse near Fort Des Moines and return the animal to its owner.

“Whether it was let out or got out, that happens from time to time in livestock,” Colvin says.

But it's the first time most have ever witnessed a horse running down the road during rush hour.

“That was quite a rodeo going on out here on the road,” says Coughlon.

When any pet gets loose in city limits, the owner can be cited.  Colvin says it's too early to know whether that will happen here.  Animal Control is not releasing the name of the owner, but say the woman is happy that her horse is safe at home.