Four Neglected Horses Rescued in Elfin Forest

Two stallions and two mares are getting some much needed tender loving care after being rescued from Elfin Forest, southwest of Escondido, yesterday.

Staff members at a horse boarding facility on Detwiler Road noticed the four horses wandering outside their facility at 6:30 a.m. and called County Animal Services.

“All four horses were neglected and suffering from cuts and scratches,” said Animal Control Lt. Mitch Levy. “One black and white paint is about 200 pounds underweight and has a good-sized laceration on its side that appears to be infected.”  

Three of the horses are underweight and all four need hoof care. One has hooves in such bad shape they were in danger of damaging the animal’s ligaments.

Animal Services canvassed about a dozen homes in the area but the residents didn’t own or recognize the horses.

Animal Control Officers brought in a four-stall trailer but also called in the help of the San Diego County Animal Response Team to help handle the horses and bring in additional trailers. Levy said the assist was greatly appreciated because two of the horses had not been trailered before or at least not in a while.

The animals were taken to the County’s animal care facility in Carlsbad where a veterinarian checked them Monday morning. With the necessary care, all the horses are expected to fully recover.

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The four horses include a pair of Arabians and a pair of quarter horses. If the owner doesn’t come forward, the animals will become available for adoption.

If the owner does claim the horses, the owner would be responsible for paying for medical expenses and the cost of caring for the animals during their stay at the shelter and could face charges for their poor condition.

After another recent rescue, County Animal Services now has 38 horses in its care in three shelters – an all-time high for the department. 

Tracy DeFore is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact