Most of us have known an animal who made a profound and lasting impression on us. For one special needs teen, that animal was a kind horse. KOMO 4 News reported yesterday that a homeless teen with cerebral palsy was found on the side of the road in Monroe, Washington looking for a horse who was once kind to him.
Jake, 19, has cerebral palsy, which makes it difficult for him to talk, but he was able to tell a good Samaritan who saw him on the roadside that he was searching for that very special horse. The animal’s kindness resonated with Jake, who is currently homeless. But what was important to him that day wasn’t his living situation, but finding and thanking that wonderful animal.
Jake was walking along Highway 2 in Monroe, Wash. when good Samaritan Aaron Panagos saw him standing alone. Panagos asked Jake why he was there, and with great difficulty, the teen replied that he was “looking for a horse who had been kind to him once,” as people judge him – but horses don’t.
Panagos offered to help Jake and contacted the police when he learned that the teen was homeless. Responding officer Paul Henderson, with the assistance of Panago, brought Jake to the hospital, where the teen is now receiving shelter and care. It is unclear where Jake will go after his hospital stay, though.
Henderson and fellow officer Derrick Lether have yet to find an agency that can help Jake. Panagos has tried to locate a safe housing situation for the homeless teen, stating that Jake has “slipped through the cracks… and he’s somebody who’s not able to speak for himself and didn’t have anyone to speak up for him.”
“This is a guy who just can’t take care of himself. It’s not like a choice he made,” stated Henderson. “For somebody in his circumstance, it’s definitely difficult because you want to see that kind of person being taken care of more so more than myself or some other family member.”
Despite having nothing, Jake has a very generous wish: to help others who are just like himself. He would love to work with a horse farm that helps those who face similar challenges. Someday, with the help of others, maybe he will.
It is unclear if Jake found that horse who was once kind to him, but hopefully many more friendly horses are in his future.
To continue to receive features, information, and breaking news on animals in Seattle and beyond, please click the “subscribe” icon. You can also find Seattle Pets Examiner on Facebook!