‘Very thin’ horses mysteriously abandoned in trailer with no food, Calif. cops say

Police are asking the public for clues to figure out who abandoned a pair of thin, elderly horses in a trailer this week in Windsor, California.

Sonoma County authorities discovered the animals in a beat-up trailer at a Home Depot parking lot around 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Windsor police said in a Facebook post. A passerby reported seeing an old Ford pickup truck park the trailer at that location Monday around 1 p.m.

Police said there is a high probability “these two horses were cooped up in that trailer for over 18 hours, without food or water. Not to mention how dangerous it is to have two horses, inside a trailer NOT connected to a tow vehicle.”

Police said Walmart and Tractor Supply Co. workers helped buy food and water for the abandoned animals, which are now in animal control officers’ custody.

“I’m glad they got to them in time, it could have been a death sentence,” said local Matt Birkhead, according to KGO.

A veterinarian estimated the female horses are more than 20 years old, according to police. One horse is a darker colored Mustang with “a distinct BLM brand on the left side of her neck,” while the other is a lighter horse with “an old, healed injury to her back right leg,” police said.

Authorities said both horses are now at a ranch “where they will be cared for properly.”

Police asked anyone with information on the animals to call Sonoma County Animal Control at (707) 565-7100 and to reference Activity #: 104341.

“We have no idea why someone would show up in our county and dump a trailer with horses,” said Kevin Davis, field supervisor for Sonoma County Animal Services, according to KGO.

There are a handful of leads, the TV station reported, but one obvious clue wasn’t helpful.

“The license plate that went with the trailer, it was stolen,” Davis said, according to KGO.

The police Facebook post asking for the public for help had been shared more than 5,000 times as of Thursday afternoon.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.