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Elsa
Credit: Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary

On Thursday, January 2nd a passerby noticed a young yearling horse laying on the frozen ground and her dangerously thin mother in the yard of an Enoch City, Utah resident. This good samaritan called animal control on what is now being hailed as one of the worst cases of animal abuse in Utah history.

When animal control officers arrived on the scene, they found that the young horse was not just laying on the frozen ground, but had frozen to it. The yearling was weak from malnutrition, spotted signs of hypothermia and had developed an eye infection as well as other sores from lying in the frozen mud. The veterinarian on scene stated that the young horse had only had a few more hours to live without treatment.

The Enoch City abuser in question received a citation for two counts of animal cruelty, which is a class B misdemeanor. This will net the owners a lesser fine or a maximum of a year in jail for their crime. The Enoch Police Chief Jackson Ames responded to the call for a stricter punishment, but he stated that it was a very unfortunate situation and the citation was all the law could allow. It seems the law itself has not caught up in terms of punishment to animal abusers as most people would have liked. Regardless, the citizens of Enoch City will clearly be keeping a closer eye of the animals of the residence.

Anna was still strong enough to move, but the filly had to be pried from the ground and moved in a makeshift sling to her rehabilitation center. The yearling and her mother were shipped off to Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary where Ginger Grimes took lead in their rehabilitation.

Elsa finds her way into the care of Dust Devil Ranch
Credit: Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary

The pair was treated around the clock with blankets, warm fluids and antibiotics by Grimes and a crew of Dust Devil employees and volunteers. The mother was given the name of Anna and the young yearling was given the name Elsa after the Disney movie 'Frozen'. At first, Elsa was given only a 15-25% chance of living. Elsa was so weak that she was unable to sit up on her own, so she has to be propped against a hay bale and swaddled in blankets so that she could eat and drink. The mother, Anna, bounced back much quickly after being given appropriate amounts of food and water.

Anna, Appaloosa POA mare and mother to little Elsa.
Credit: Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary

Unlike her mother, Elsa took some time to recover. On average, a yearling weighs about 800 pounds, this filly however only weighed 400 at the time of her rescue. Elsa has now been given a 80% survival rate, however do to the extreme infection in her eye, she may lose sight in it. However, today Elsa is able to stand on her own and did not want to lay back down, a good sign of a horse who wants to live. When Elsa was reunited with her mother, the two rubbed nose with each other, clearly both happy to have survived their ordeal.

Join Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses on Facebook to continue to follow the amazing recovery of determined little Elsa and her mother, Anna. Those wishing to donate towards their recovery can do so through their website.

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