Animal Services Officer Euthanizes Horse
Shortly after 1 p.m. today (Jan. 22) Riverside County Animal Services received a request for assistance from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department regarding an injured horse that had been hit by a car on Etiwanda Avenue.
The horse had been wandering southbound on Etiwanda Avenue when the accident occurred. It was wandering without a rider, nor a saddle. The accident was near the intersection of Etiwanda Avenue and Jurupa Road. Riverside County Fire Department personnel was on scene, too, treating the motorist for minor injuries.
Lt. James Huffman, Sgt. Lorena Barron-Lopez and officer Tiffany Fuller responded and Lt. Huffman determined that the horse’s injuries were too severe. The horse had smashed against the car’s windshield and its right front leg had been shredded to the bone.
“At a distance, the horse appeared to be standing on all fours, but once we got close enough it was clear the injured leg was immobile and non-weight bearing,” Lt. Huffman said. “The horse was clearly suffering and we made the decision to euthanize the horse.”
Sheriff’s deputies had already assisted by closing Etiwanda in both directions and had cleared the area of any passersby to ensure the area was safe. Lt. Huffman used a firearm to euthanize the horse. Lt. Huffman said he used a firearm instead of chemical euthanasia for a quicker end due to the exigent circumstances of the animal.
Information about how the horse was wandering on Etiwanda is uncertain. It might have been tied to a branch of a tree or bush and the branch broke off, giving the horse an opportunity to roam freely. A rope was dragging behind the horse as it traveled along the busy thoroughfare. A piece of the rope included a branch with a fresh break mark.
The three officers managed to move the horse away from the road and covered it. A company contracted by Riverside County Animal Services picked up the horse at approximately 4 p.m.
The horse, about 10 years old, was a bay quarter horse gelding. Anyone with information about the horse or its owner is asked to contact Riverside County Animal Services at 951-358-7387.
A photo is attached. The image was captured by Lt. James Huffman for use by media outlets.