Romeo, the homeless mule who suffered the most private of injuries in a futile quest for love, has been taken in by the owners of a horse stable.
The 3-year-old brown-and-white mule was moved from the Southern California Humane Society shelter in Hawthorne to a boarding stable in the Glendale-Burbank area Wednesday. Sgt. Chuck Reed, an investigator for the society, said the stable will find Romeo a home or, failing that, will keep him. Reed would not disclose the name of the stable.
The mule wound up at the shelter three weeks ago after he tried to leap a fence in quest of a mare and suffered a genital injury. He was sutured by a veterinarian and before the day was out, shelter workers had dubbed him--what else?--Romeo.
Romeo had been found loose on the street in Rancho Palos Verdes in March by horse-keeper Doreen Paramore, who kept him in her corral while she tried unsuccessfully to find his owner by posting signs along the street and in local stores. Reed said Paramore was no longer able to keep the mule when her mares came into season and she called the shelter after the mule injured himself.
Paramore said Romeo was wearing a red halter and was groomed when she found him, "so he belonged to somebody." His subsequent romantic exploits and injury got him into the newspapers and on television, but no one called the shelter to claim him.
Mark Wilson, assistant supervisor of the shelter, called the lack of response surprising. He speculated that the owner may not want Romeo back. "He jumps and kicks and gets frightened," Wilson said. "He's never been broken."
Reed said Romeo's stitches were removed this week and he is feeling fine. "Hopefully," said the humane officer, "he won't have any further trouble, assuming he stays off fences."