Update: Officials say they have now located Bella, the missing horse. She was found on Wednesday at 6 p.m. by volunteers on a gravel road near Greenway Road and Route 13/Carolina Road.
Bella is now being evaluated to see if she will need treatment.
Suffolk, Va. - A horse that's gone missing in the Whaleyville section of Suffolk has her owner worried for both the safety of the horse and the safety of drivers.
Donijo Atkins was riding Bella, her Thoroughbred mare, on Monday when something spooked the horse.
"We went for a ride just like any other day. Just having Memorial Day fun and we get over in the woods and something scared her. We don’t know what. But she reared up and I came off obviously," Atkins said.
Atkins described how Bella took off into the woods and hasn't been seen since. Scores of volunteers have helped search for the mare, but so far it hasn't yielded any results.
"We followed her into the woods just enough to where we found the brush getting really thick and after that we can’t find her at all, we haven’t seen anything," Atkins explained.
The big fear is that Bella's coloring and size might pose a danger to drivers if she ends up on one of the busy nearby roads.
"Nobody is going to see her. She’s very dark, she’s almost jet black and if she goes out into traffic and someone hits her – I’m worried – yes I love her to death, but I’m worried about people’s safety too because they aren’t going to be able to see her," Atkins stated.
Atkins says the best thing to do if you see Bella is to call Suffolk Police or Animal Control - trying to catch the horse yourself might spook her even more.