When you own and operate a mini-golf course with fake animals, you run the risk of pranksters making off with your wildlife. Phil and Suzie Santucci have experienced their share of wildlife abductions through the years, but on Sunday morning, they arrived at Vince's Sports Center in Ogletown, Delaware, and were devastated by what they saw.
The fiberglass pony that guards the fourth hole was gone, torn off at the hooves, reported Delawareonline.com.
"We can't purchase another one like that," said Suzie, who remembers ordering it with her mother-in-law nearly three decades ago, "and it wouldn't have the same sentimental value. It's priceless, it really is."
"Priceless" might be stretching it, but that is a quality-looking fake horse by mini-golf standards.
Through social media, newspapers, and word of mouth, the Santuccis pleaded for the thieves to return their beloved horse. They promised not to press charges unlike when a thief who stole a giraffe from the course a few years back was turned in by his neighbor and wound up going to jail. Yep, jail. Stealing fake animals from mini-golf courses is serious stuff, people!
The message found its intended target and it worked. On Wednesday, the Santuccis showed up to work and the horse (shouldn't it have a name?) was there leaning against a fence.
"We both cried," Suzie told Delawareonline.com. Tears of joy!
Here's a video of Phil talking about the horse and promising a day of free mini-golf (Woo!) as a thanks to customers who supported the family during this crisis.