Forced apart after house fire, birthday boy reunited with horse

Forced apart after house fire, birthday boy reunited with horse »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — It's been over a year since the little boy has seen his horse, and it's a strange twist of fate that brought them back together.

Joey Hill turns 5 on Saturday, and Friday afternoon Joey watched his birthday present being loaded into a horse trailer at Animal Control.

A horse is a pretty cool present for a little boy who has already fallen in love with his long-legged friend. Joey put his fingers only about an inch apart and said he loves his horse "this much," explaining that he doesn't want anything coming between him and his beloved horse.

But Joey and his horse, Kujo, aren't exactly strangers.

"I was on the computer to adopt a dog for my daughter, and I saw the picture of Kujo, and Joey said, 'Mommy, that’s Kujo,'" said Joey's mom, Rene Hill.

Last year, Hill said her family lost everything in a fire that destroyed their home, forcing them to send their four horses to a rescue operation in Caliente.

"It broke our hearts," explained Hill.

Once Hill realized that one of her horses had been rescued from its rescuer, she called Animal Control immediately. She said Joey was the one who identified Kujo’s markings to Animal Control officers.

Hill said she wasn't exactly expecting to get horses again, but once Joey saw Kujo, she had only one choice.

"We haven't even moved all the way into the house, and we're getting his horse back," Hill said.

And if all this wasn't enough of a happy ending, as an extra special birthday surprise for Joey, Kujo gets to bring a new friend home, too. She is a white mare who has become very attached to the male horse.

"Kujo has really bonded with the other one. As you saw, it was going kinda crazy when they were getting Kujo, so my landlord said go ahead and bring both since they've already bonded," said Hill.

Right before the Hills came to rescue their horse Friday, their trailer blew a tire. But Joann at Galbraith Trailer Sales wasn't going to let that get in the way of a little boy's birthday wish. They brought a trailer down to the shelter to bring Kujo and his new friend home. Galbraith also gave Joey some supplies he needs for his new horses.