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

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Image courtesy Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses via

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.”


  • Dawn Dyer

    RIP Princess. I read the story of her rescue. Thank God you were there for her to show her love. Just know she someday will love you again.

  • Paula M.Lazaro

    I so sorry over the lose of another innocent animal . She suffered so cruely . She’s home with Jesus where no one will hurt her again and she’ll have all the food and love she always deserved .
    Sincerely , Paula
    Admin. of Paws for Patrick

  • anonymous

    The name has been released that owned the horses … Sonn Berrett they live on Enoch road in Enoch … There will be candle circles infront of the house currently being planned by local animal lovers !!

  • Western Ecos

    It is disturbing to see people more upset over a horse than they would a human.

    However, the most disturbing thing is that the same people who are all teary eyed over the whole situation are the same folk who created the situation.

    If you didn’t shut down the processing plants, if you didn’t pass laws that created unmanagable feral horse populations on public land, and if you didn’t make it cost prohibitive to put down a horse with the required vet/drugs/disposal instead of a $0.20 bullet, then we propbably would not see problems like this.

    There are horses all over the west on public land, frozen to the ground and dying thanks to your efforts. Too bad the news won’t cover that. The coyotes and ravens thank you for the warm meal (the feast starts before the horse is dead).

    • Rox Sitterly

      You DO NOT know that people are “more upset” about a horse dying than humans, that is a false accusation and arrogant in the extreme. Furthermore your allegations of this crime being caused by shutting the processing plants is based on utterly false premises including the GAO report which was deliberately falsified to try to serve the foreign-based slaughterhouse investors. Horse slaughter has been permanently defunded despite people like you. Horse slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia. All the perpetrators had to do was reach out, pick up the phone even once and call any of the dozens of humane societies and rescue groups and help would have come immediately. There IS a code of the west, Western Ecos, and the first one happens to be that an ethical, moral, westerner is a proper steward of their God-given possessions – including livestock.

  • John Marks

    I was very saddened by Elsa’s death. In order for the laws to be changed so they are stricter for cruelty to animals, we all need to send in a letter to the following persons. That will speak volumes if everyone takes a minute to do that and also copy one in for Ginger Grimes at the Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary so she also has a copy to help in her petition. We also need to ask that the previous owner of Elsa be convicted of a felony rather than a misdemeanor. Here are the addresses I have written to.

    Iron County District Attorneys Office
    82 N 100 E
    Ste 201
    Cedar City, Utah 84720

    Enoch Police Dept
    % Chief Jackson Ames
    900 East Midvalley Rd
    Enoch, Utah 84721

    City Hall % Bob Rasmussen
    900 East Midvalley Rd
    Enoch, Utah 84721

    Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses
    % Ginger Grimes
    3305 S 6500 W
    Cedar City, Utah 84720

  • Lucy MacCantire

    I of course do not know the conditions these horses were found in because I frankly wasn’t there, but really, a fellony? It bogles my mind how quick we as human beings can judge someone else and their situation like we know what the perfect solution was for that specific individual. We don’t know what the expectations were in regards to his financial, family, or even the emotional attachments to these horses were. So how can we as equal citizens sit here and judge this man like he is the worst human being on this planet? I have a farm and I raise animals on this farm, I know what it takes to raise such animals. But I will be the last person to point a finger at this specific individual becuase I know how hard and bleak it can be. Yes there is help, but once again we don’t know the situation. If you feel it is nessisary for you to change the laws, change them…But I personally think we have bigger problems to deal with than animal cruelty.

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