Chino Hills equine rescue still recovering after storms damaged barn, trapping horses in stalls

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Thursday, January 19, 2023
Chino Hills horse rescue still recovering from storm damage
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Days after a series of winter storms battered Southern California, some places are still struggling to recover and make repairs, including an equine rescue facility in Chino Hills.

CHINO HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- Days after a series of winter storms battered Southern California, some places are still struggling to recover and make repairs, including an equine rescue facility in Chino Hills.

Red Bucket Equine Rescue specializes in the difficult work of rescuing injured and abused horses. During the recent winter storm, some of the horses they treat needed to be rescued from their barns.

"It was completely uncontrollable. I mean, we have a great plan and a good team, but the wind and the rain kept hitting us," said Susan Peirce, president and founder of the rescue. "After a storm, we tried to re-group and we'd be hit again. The tree snapped on top of the stalls, pinning two horses in their stalls and they're big horses. I can't believe that they weren't hurt."

The horses were terrified, but uninjured besides a gash above one of their eyes.

The entire facility, which is located in a canyon near a creek, flooded, causing over $50,000 in damage.

"We have lost all of our ground cover. All of our barns were flooded so we have water damage everywhere and we have a big gaping hole in one of our primary barns," Peirce said.

The non-profit has 100 high-risk horses on their property. They can't afford to lose any barn space, but thankfully some of the neighboring horse ranches have taken in nine of them until the barns are repaired.

Red Bucket takes in horses who have been mistreated.

"Many of them have been starved or have suffered a great deal of neglect. But also, sometimes the scars are on the inside, not on the outside. So we have a lot of emotional trauma that we deal with."

The non-profit will continue its life-saving work, but the storm damage has made it more difficult. Anyone interested in helping can visit the website.