HOUSTON - Sweetie is a 7-year-old certified quarter horse that loves to run.
To Adrian Alvarez, she’s not just a pet, but a member of the family.
"She had an outgoing personality,” Alvarez said. “You build up a bond once you get attached to them and put a lot of time and effort into them.”
But last week, all of their bonding abruptly ended when Sweetie disappeared from the stable.
"It was devastating because I put a lot of time and earned money into her," Alvarez said.
But what worries him now is the money Sweetie could fetch on the black market.
Experts say each year, about 50,000 horses are stolen around the country. Many of them wind up at slaughter houses where they can be sold for up to $7 a pound.
Alvarez is offering a $500 reward for his horse's safe return. Houston police are investigating but time to find her could be running out.
"Whoever has her, I hope they can bring her back,” Alvarez said.
(© 2016 KHOU)