What’s To Happen To Peter Rabbit ?

Peter Rabbit


October 2008

An old horse who wants nothing more than to eat grass in the Nebraska city of Hickman is now something of a media celebrity.

Peter Rabbit, 32, has grazed his pasture since the day he was born, but the suburbs have encroached and the town fathers say it’s time for Peter Rabbit to go.

His owner says the quarter horse is too old to move.  Peter Rabbit and his owner are not budging.

Talk about your one horse town, Hickman, with 1,084 residents is just that despite a town bylaw saying horses are not welcome within its limits.

But some folks don’t want that distinction. They want an aging horse named Peter Rabbit gone for good.

With houses having sprung up around Peter Rabbit’s pasture, Mayor Jim Hrouda and five of the six City Council members are determined to enforce the livestock ban.

Shortly after a council meeting, the horse’s owner, 76-year-old Harley Scott, was served an eviction notice that orders the animal off the land, plus an infringement notice, which could cost him $100 every day if the authorities want to keep issuing them.

Other folks say the horse should stay, despite an ordinance that bans livestock inside city limits.

“I feel bad for the poor horse. He’s probably going to die soon anyway,” said Jamie Cox, who manages the town bar, Sadie’s Place.

“As long as he’s being taken care of, they should leave him alone.”

Scott said he has raised Peter Rabbit since the brown Morgan-quarter horse crossbreed was born in his pasture in the spring of 1976.

There have been horses on this land since Scott’s father bought 40 acres in 1935. Only about four acres remain in the family.

His land was annexed in 2006, but Scott said no one said anything to him at the time about having to give up the horse.

Scott said. “I would prefer to have him remain as stable as he is and be able to enjoy the remainder of his life.


It appears … this dispute is far from over.


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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a bunch of self-righteous jerks. The horse was there first before the houses went up, he’s not bothering anyone and they should leave him be until his last day of grazing.

    My sentiments, exactly!

  2. yes. this is exactly what is wrong with this country. tolerant of nothing. i am sure peter and his owner have been on this land before the mayor and city council members, before the neigbors clammering to oust them. it is really disgusting. i dont discriminate between city and country, but respect and appreciation for animals and country life are important. i feel awful for the old man and the old horse. disgusting.

  3. I hope that the mayor and the city council are ousted at the next election and people who have heart and soul are put in their place. No small town needs hard-hearted people like this, especially the mayor, in their town. Peter Rabbit was there BEFORE that idiotic law, and he should not be forced to leave. Hickman should be ashamed of itself. I wish I lived there, but the mayor certainly wouldn’t like it if I did. I would be doing everything possible to help that horse. All I can do now is write my support, but if enough people write that town, which I have done, and enough people bombard that idiot mayor, maybe he will back off. Right now, I think he only isn’t because of his ego.

    Bravo! I’m glad you have written to the Major of Hickman. Let’s hope many people do.

    I’ve actually been to that town and I can tell you it isn’t Beverly Hills, so they can stop pretending they are and keep Peter Rabbit right where he belongs … at home.

  4. A lot of people are concerned about Peter Rabbit, as I still am. Does anyone know if he is still in his pasture? I try to keep up with the news of Peter Rabbit, but not much has been put out there lately. I sure hope everyone keeps up the fight for Peter Rabbit!

  5. This breaks my heart that people cannot understand what it would mean to uproot Peter Rabbit at this stage of his life. That is his home and he should be able stay in the security and comfort he has had all these years………..!

  6. How are people so heartless? Who is he hurting?? He was there waay before most of those people, I guarantee it! That is so ridiculous. The poor baby, he’s so old. They just need to leave him be and let him enjoy the remainder of his days.

    His owner must really love him. Peter Rabbit looks absolutely amazing for his age! My heart goes out to both of them. They are in my prayers.

  7. The Hickman Council met on December 9m 2008 and voted to authorize the City Attorney to proceed with court action to remove Peter Rabbit from the pasture.

    Hello Cheryl,
    Thank you for the update. What a sad, sad day. It is unfortunate the city council could not hold off their decision at least past Christmas.

    Due to the age of Peter Rabbit, he could live out his short life remaining in his home pasture, while the council takes on other more important issues to the community.

    Unfortunately, it appears this has become a power play.

    As I recall, in years past, Hickman was not exactly the pride of Lincoln, Nebraska. Now, at least, they will be know for something … Peter Rabbit.

  8. I make sure I tell everyone what a disgusting, cruel place Hickman, NE is! And they tell everyone they know. I know not all of the people in Hickman want Peter Rabbit out of that pasture, but those who do are lower than low, and I hope the rest of their lives are as miserable as they are making Peter Rabbit’s. What they have wished upon Peter Rabbit should happen to them. Shame on you, Hickman mayor, and the rest of you heartless jerks, SHAME on you!

  9. Please let me know what happened.

  10. I had a 32 year old Walking Horse that I believe died early because of a move we had to make. Even though the barn owner did her best to care for him, I think the heightened sense of fear and confusion from the new facility caused his stroke. I hope the horse gets to live his days out in his own comfortable home.

  11. Sadly, far too many surburbanites and city dwellers are moving out to “the country”….except they want to live in a sanitized, fantasy version of the country, not the real thing.

    A horse pasture within shouting distance of their manicured, half-acre country estate? Horrors! The smell! The flies! They know nothing, they demand everything and they far too often have the local government in their pocket. Sad.

  12. What’s the lessons we can get from this story..?

  13. It is November 10, 2010, what has happened to this story?
    Much appreciated,

    • Hello Shari,
      I’ve not been able to find out the official last word on Peter Rabbit. However, it seems that he was not able to stay at home.
      An unfortunate and unreasonable situation.

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