Petie the Pony was a therapeutic horse since 1997, helping kids in need at Akron Children's Hospital and Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

On Tuesday, his owners at Victory Gallop delivered some terrible news on Facebook:

One sentence from Petie's website says it all: "He might be small in stature, but when he is warming the hearts of those he meets, he is larger than life."

His big heart and soft brown eyes always found a way to reach out as he rested his head alongside the bed of every patient he met. Never in a hurry, he was always willing to hang out and let his new friends stroke his soft face and listen while they shared their story. He had a unique way of touching the lives of everyone he met.

WKYC's Dick Russ did a feature on the power of Petie the Pony in 2009. You can watch his inspiring story in the player above.