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NJ Teen, Volunteers Search For Missing Horse

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MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The search continued across Bergen County, N.J. Friday for the missing 1,500-pound horse named Chief.

As CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, the horse took off from his barn on Saturday and hasn’t been seen since. A small army of volunteers was dispatched to find the horse Friday afternoon.

Makenzie Vulgaris, 15, rescued the horse from slaughter six months ago. Animal rescue groups and volunteers have been helping Makenzie and her parents search for chief in the woods in Mahwah.

“He is new to the area and I don’t want anything to happen to him. I just want my horse back,” Vulgaris said.

The teams searched the expansive Ramapo Valley Reservation.

“We’re hoping he’s fine and well; we’re hoping that the bridle or saddle didn’t get caught on a tree and he’s hung up somewhere,” said Bergen County Animal Response Team coordinator Carol Tyler.

“He’s a strong boy. He was healthy and everything, so we have high hopes,” said horse trainer Jackie Torres.

Other horses were brought in to help find Chief. The hope is he’ll try to communicate with them and searchers can track him by his sound.

“I know how I would feel if my horse was missing and it’s not really the suburbs and surrounding areas are not a place for a horse to be lost,” said volunteer Ann Marie Snyder of Ridgewood, N.J.

Sisters Joice Billings and Robin Dalton drove roughly 60 miles with their horses, Luke and Shea, in tow to help with the search.

“My horses sometimes get loose on me too, and people help us find them,” said Billings, of Columbia, N.J.

The Vulgaris family and volunteers plan to continue their search through the weekend if Chief doesn’t return home.

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