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Officials Looking For Owner Of Horse So Neglected It Had To Be Euthanized

BREA (CBSLA)  -- A horse found abandoned by the side of a freeway in Orange County was in such poor shape authorities had no choice but to euthanize the animal.

Officials are now looking for the owner who they say neglected and abused the animal.

KCAL9's Michele Gile said the horse was malnourished. And that wasn't her only problem.

LA County Sheriff's Deputies are spreading the word -- and graphic and disturbing pictures of the horse -- in the hopes someone knows who owned her.

"So, in these pictures we can see a horse here," says a horse owner and animal lover named Bria, "who you can essentially count almost every single one of this horse's ribs."

The extremely-malnourished horse also has a curved spine and a foot deformity -- held together by masking tape.

The horse was dumped just off the 57 Freeway in Brea.

"It was clear that the horse hadn't been cared for, in at least three years," says OC Sheriff's Investigator Shane Ellis. "Horses require regular care on their hooves. And this horse was neglected in those manners."

A vet told authorities the horse was in such bad shape she was unable to walk.

The discovery was made on October 4 when someone flagged down the CHP to say they saw a deserted horse in some brush.  The horse was euthanized the next day.

"So, the horse in these photos, is, you can tell is very, very weak," said Bria.

The story has spread on social media and within the local horse community.

Many in the horse community are asking how anyone could let the horse get into this condition -- when there are so many resources to help owners.

"That's something that really, really pains me," Bria says. "It's very, very sad. Hopefully, we will be able to track this guy down and serve this horse the justice that it really deserves. It's a live being that has feelings like you or I. Nothing deserves to be inflicted pain knowingly."

Investigators are sure the horse was dumped -- because she was unable to walk -- and wasn't near any stables.

If you know anything about this horse, you're asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

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