The fifth-grader has been named Mercer County's first Junior Humane Agent.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
SHARON, Pa.-- Brad McGonigle didn't let a little thing like the state border stand in his way when he found a horse in trouble.
The 11-year-old fifth-grader at St. Joseph's School lives in Hermitage and was visiting with friends in Mahoning County, Ohio, when he discovered a neglected horse that appeared to be very weak and had hooves that had grown into long curls at the front, making it difficult for the animal to move.
When he got home, he decided to contact the Mercer County Humane Society to tell someone in authority of the animal's plight.
That case is being investigated said Cyndi Sankey, Mercer County humane agent.
Sankey and the Mercer County Humane Society's board of directors felt Brad's efforts deserved some recognition so Sankey and Erin Wojtanowski, a member of the society's board, arranged to meet with St. Joseph's pupils in an assembly in the school gymnasium Friday afternoon.
Brad was visibly surprised when they called him to the podium and announced he had been named Mercer County's first Junior Humane Agent.
Sankey presented him with a certificate of merit announcing his appointment, his own copy of the Blue Book of animal cruelty laws in Pennsylvania, sometimes referred to as the humane agent's bible, and some business cards telling people who to call if they discover an abused or neglected animal.
"What he did was so wonderful," Sankey said, adding that many people wouldn't have taken the trouble to find help.
"He did something about it," Sankey said.
Brad is the son of J. Bradley and Sally McGonigle of Westminster Road, Hermitage. The elder McGonigle is Mercer County's coroner.
A love of horses
"He's a horse lover," his mother said, noting that Brad has been riding horses for four years.
She said he approached her with his concern about the horse he had seen and she advised him that the Mahoning County Humane Society would probably have to be contacted.
He took it upon himself to call the Mercer County Humane Society and a society director called back to talk to him several times and report that the case had been referred to Mahoning County authorities, she said.