HARRIS COUNTY The owner of a couple of horses found trotting down a busy Houston street earlier this week is blaming teenage vandals.

Drivers were surprised to see the horses in the 7500 block of North Shepherd Drive Tuesdayduring the evening rush hour. One woman used her SUV to corral them to the median so they wouldn t get hit.

Deputies with the Harris County Sheriff s Office Livestock Division then rounded up the animals.

They tracked down the owner who retrieved Sweet Thing and Chocolate after paying a $75 fine. But he said it wasn t his fault the horses got out.

Some kids cut the line, the owner said. They just cut the line and set them loose.

Officials with the sheriff s office said it s not unusual.

It happens very frequently, said Deputy Virginia Leggett, a nine-year veteran of the livestock division.

She said deputies responded to roughly 1,800 calls and took in around 250 animals last year.

Sometimes the owners don t show up if the animals are skinny or sick, added Leggett. And sometimes they don t show up because they ve just let them loose.

The livestock division doesn t just handle horses. They also take in cows, pigs, donkeys and other kinds of livestock.

Deputies hold animals for a period of 18 days. If their owners don t show up, the animals are then sent to the county auction.

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