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Horse found starving, frozen in southern Utah dies

Published: Monday, Jan. 20 2014 11:27 p.m. MST

A horse found frozen to the ground earlier this month in Enoch, passed away Saturday afternoon.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News Archives

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CEDAR CITY — Elsa, a horse found frozen to the ground earlier this month in Enoch, passed away Saturday afternoon.

Enoch Animal Control seized 18-month-old Elsa and her mother, Anna, when people passing by Jan. 2 found them starving to death in the backyard of an Enoch home.

They were taken to Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses in Cedar City. When the horses were rescued, they were malnourished and dying, according to Ginger Grimes, founder of Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary.

"She was making good progress for a while … but her systems probably couldn’t handle it," Grimes said.

Elsa and Anna received close attention and rehabilitation and appeared to be getting stronger. Anna is on the road to recovery and will be put up for a adoption when she's healthy.

However, Elsa took a turn for the worse Saturday and died around 4:30 p.m.

"As soon as she was up, she was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to eat," Grimes said. "She was willing to do anything she could, but I think in the end it had just been a long road for her, and she tried for as long as she could, but it just wasn’t going to happen."

Elsa was buried by the front gates of the sanctuary.

The horses' owner said he couldn't afford to take care of them anymore. Police say people who can't care for their animals should call a state or rescue agency for help.

"We found the horse laying in the corral, frozen in the mud. … There's no reason that any animal needs to suffer like that," Enoch Police Chief Jackson Ames said.

Police say the owner has been cited with two counts of animal cruelty, a class B misdemeanor. The case has been turned over to the Iron County Attorney's Office to review for additional charges.

Grimes said a group plans to rally in Salt Lake City on Feb. 6, to change the law about felony animal cruelty to apply to more than just companion animals.

"We're not going to let her die in vain, that's for sure," she said.

Email: madbrown@deseretnews.com, Twitter: madeleine6

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