Hall County Animal Control will hold its first livestock auction today in an attempt to find a new home for a runaway paint horse.
The nearly 2-year-old Dun Overo paint filly was found on Bryant Quarter Road near Holly Springs Road in Gillsville.
"This was a horse that was picked up just literally running loose," Animal Control Officer David Jones said. "It had strayed up to another horse facility."
The horse was turned over to animal control and is being held at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center in Gainesville.
Animals are required to be held for 10 days to give the owner an opportunity to claim it. However, nobody claimed the horse, and a sealed bid auction will take place today with a noon deadline.
Jones said animal control has recently impounded more livestock than in the past, but it's rare for an animal with no signs of neglect to go unclaimed.
"We are tending to pick up more livestock now," he said. "We don't pick up, usually, too many that are healthy like this that an owner is not right behind that is honestly missing their horse and they get it right back."
Many of the animals impounded are the result of cruelty investigations or abandonment.
Other than a bit of necessary training, Jones said the horse is in near perfect condition.
"It's a healthy horse. There's really nothing wrong with it other than she needs a little bit of handling, and by spring time she will be big enough and old enough to start training and take a saddle," he said.
Bids will be opened after 1 p.m. and the winner will be notified at 5 p.m. The winner must then pick up the horse Saturday.
Jones said he doesn't expect the bidding to reach a high price because of a downturn in the horse market.
The money earned from the auction will be used to purchase livestock feed buckets and other supplies.