In Enoch City, a little yearling filly tried her best to rally from blatant negligence and starvation when left frozen to the ground as half of her face stuck in the melting mud. Named Elsa by her rescuers, after the snow queen in the Disney movie, "Frozen," the filly and her mother were scored "ones" on the Henneke scale, a horse evaluation system with a healthy horse scoring between four and six.
Elsa's body temperature was only 92 degrees when she was found; a healthy horse has an average body temperature of between 99 and 100 degrees.
Both horses, Anne and Elsa were brought to the Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary, where the long road to recovery was started, and where every ounce of effort, prayer, medical intervention and hope were launched to save the young snow princess who everyone fell in love with at first sight.
Enoch Animal Control Officer Chris Johnson stated it was one of the worst cases of animal neglect she had ever seen.
"There's a body imprint where you can see every hair strand," stated Ginger Grimes, one of Elsa's constant caretakers.
From the very beginning of what was hoped to be a journey to wellness and eventual recovery, Elsa nickered, ate, and looked around with the natural curiosity of a young filly. When her mother was allowed to visit, the two horses rubbed noses and quietly spoke in their own secret language.
When Elsa couldn't get back on her feet, and it was deemed necessary to give her the best chance of survival that the filly stand for short periods, a sling was donated and sent to the rescue.
Twenty-four by seven, Elsa was cared for by volunteers; everyday an update was provided while well wishers sent in donations, care packages, and words of hope and prayer that Elsa might survive.
And on Saturday evening, the Facebook page of Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary cried with the following announcement:
"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."
It is hoped that Elsa's story will bring more attention to the need for stricter animal cruelty laws. In Utah, animal neglect is a Class B misdemeanor, but with the death of Elsa, the charge may be upgraded to a felony.
"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."
Rest in peace sweet Elsa. You will always be remembered.
And for everyone, please read the following message posted by Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary from Elsa's vet, Dr. Kim Henneman, as this sad story is being written:
"She was a moon child. She came to you on the first new moon of the year and left on the first full moon. New moons are about starting new things and full moons are about creation coming to fulfillment. She came to start a dialogue between her species and ours. She came to help you and what you are trying to do. These are gifts from the Universe provided by angel souls who are willing to sacrifice for the greater good and spiritual evolution of all."
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