Rodeo Thief on the Lam With Lambert Family Lamb

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's hard luck continues. After the rodeo's rough opening week, which saw a series of unfortunate events including a trampling and a port-a-potty stabbing, rodeogoers were then mercilessly subjected to a performance by Pitbull on Tuesday night, and, just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, the next morning a crafty crook saved a lamb from the slaughter stole a girl's prize lamb. 

KHOU first reported yesterday that someone drove off with teenager Rebecca Lambert's trailer, which had her own show lamb and a few other animals she was transporting to the rodeo for other families.

Rebecca told KHOU her lamb's name was "88" (KTRK reported that its full name was "Green 88," which is much more humane). From KHOU:

Lambert, her dad and three other students had just made the long drive from a small North Texas town when they checked into a Motel 6 on South Main at the 610 Loop near NRG Park.

They came to town to show their two goats and four lambs in the livestock show.

“Instead of going straight to the check in line we stopped at the motel, fed and took care of the animals last night,” said Rebecca’s father Darrell Lambert.

That was at 8:45 p.m. By 10:30, their 2004 white Chevrolet Tahoe equipped with a trailer holding the animals were taken from the parking lot.

"He was a really special lamb," Rebecca told KTRK. "Not a lot of lambs have a personality — it's like a one-in-100 chance of getting one with a personality, and he had one and it's just heartbreaking that someone would do this."

This is very sad. Show animals are expensive, and kids put a lot of time into preparing them for the rodeo. Sometimes these lambs can earn their owners a college scholarship at the rodeo, too. But the pathos-bating, heartstring-pulling narrative many of the local broadcast networks are pushing here is a little puzzling:

"Help before it's too late?" That's beating the dead horse — er, lamb. For some perspective, here's how 88 would've ended up in a few more days had it not been boosted:

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Leif Reigstad