Young horse found malnourished, frozen to ground in southern Utah has died

Posted at 7:44 PM, Jan 18, 2014
Image courtesy Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses via

Image courtesy Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses via

SOUTHERN UTAH – A young horse named Elsa that was found malnourished and stuck to the frozen ground in southern Utah several weeks ago has died, according to a statement from the ranch where the horse was being cared for.

Elsa, a 1-year-old horse, had been found on her side stuck to the frozen ground, and rescuers had to pry her loose before they could take her to a trailer.

“She couldn’t lift her head up,” Animal Control Officer Chris Johnson said at the time. “She was kicking her legs quite a bit like she was trying to get away or stand up, get out of that situation, but she basically couldn’t move.”

An Enoch City man faces animal cruelty charges in connection with the incident. The horse’s mother, Anna, was also taken from the property.

The story attracted outrage and outpourings of support and help, and a sling was brought to help Elsa’s recovery.

The Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses posted on Facebook Saturday that the horse had passed away. The statement in its entirety is below:

“To our very dear friends and extended family…. there is no easy way to say the words or ease the blow to the thousands of hearts that have fallen in love with our sweet snow Princess. Elsa passed away today at 4:30 p.m. mountain time wrapped in Ginger’s arms, surrounded by the people that have worked so tirelessly for her and watched over dutifully by her guardian, Dingo. We are stunned by the sudden and rapid turn of events. You will never know how your support and encouragement have helped us stay strong. She received every single hug and kiss you sent her and Ginger read all of your loving notes to her. We could theorize that if she had been older or if we had gotten to her sooner that there might have been a different outcome… what we do know is that Elsa has brought so many of us together for a common good. Her story highlights the need for changes in existing laws and is a mission we hope to carry forward in the future. We have many notes of thanks to make and I promise we will get to every single one. For now… for this moment… it is time to grieve the life simply stolen. Tonight when you look up at the stars you may see one that outshines all others. That is our Elsa. She is sending you love and thanks and is running free, whole and in peace. Thank you for loving her with us and making her last days on earth as beautiful as she deserved.”