An 18-month-old filly found frozen to the ground in Utah on January 2 has died after more than two weeks of tireless efforts by charity staff to save her.
Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary for Horses, based near Cedar City, reported the loss of Elsa on its Facebook page on Saturday.
Elsa, who was seriously underweight, had been found on her side stuck to frozen ground in southern Utah.
Rescuers had to pry her loose before removing her from the property with her mother, Anna.
“She couldn’t lift her head up,” animal control officer Chris Johnson told reporters 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.”
Elsa was provided with extensive veterinary care and a sling was brought in to provide her support in standing.
Her many fans monitoring her progress on the sanctuary’s Facebook page were buoyed by news of her progress, but the sanctuary reported in the hours before her death that she was down and weak.
Elsa died a few hours later in the arms of sanctuary founder Ginger Grimes and surrounded by friends.
Elsa’s many followers expressed their distress over her loss and thanked the sanctuary for its efforts.
The announcement of Elsa’s death is reported in full 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.”
Authorities are investigating the case, with the Enoch City man who owned the two horses to face two animal cruelty charges.