Crews on Thursday night rescued a horse and a pony mired in mud for up to 18 hours after becoming trapped by a debris flow near Salinas, officials with SPCA Monterey County said.
The animals became stuck Wednesday night on Limekiln Road, off River Road in an area south of Salinas that saw debris flows this week after heavy storms drenched the River Fire burn scar.
When the owners discovered the horses trapped chest-deep in mud, they flagged down passing firefighters and contacted the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Monterey County.
Neighbors also responded with shovels and other tools to help dig out the two horses, which were treated overnight by Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic veterinarians, SPCA officials said.
“It definitely took a village to get these horses out,” said Beth Brookhouser, Monterey County SPCA spokesperson.
The horses, a mare and a smaller pony, were very cold after spending the night immobilized in the muck. It wasn’t until hours later that the horses stopped shivering, Brookhouser said.
Both horses were recovering on Friday, and were eating and drinking, she said.
Crews who rescued the horses included first responders from the Hayward, Fremont, Alameda, Fresno, Marina and Monterey County fire departments, along with the Monterey County Public Works Department.
Earlier in the week, SPCA Monterey County had taken in taken in more than three dozen animals for shelter due to residents evacuating because of the stormy weather that could cause debris flows.