WINDSOR, Calif. -- There is a shocking case of animal cruelty in the North Bay after two elderly horses were found abandoned in a trailer for more than 24 hours with no food or water. Animal welfare officials are on the lookout for who left the animals behind in the hot summer sun.
Two mares, both in their 20s, are slowly recovering in an undisclosed veterinary facility with care and lots of tasty food to eat.
But on Tuesday, they were in bad shape.
Police found them abandoned in the corner of the Windsor Home Depot parking lot, inside a sweltering horse trailer with no food or water.
Area residents can't believe it.
"I'm glad they got to them in time, it could have been a death sentence," said Matt Birkhead.
Authorities say it's possible the horses may have been left in the trailer for up to 24 hours.
"We have no idea why someone would show up in our county and dump a trailer with horses," said Kevin Davis, Field Supervisor for Sonoma County Animal Services.
Davis is investigating the case. He says both horses were malnourished. One of them is a mustang and her markings say she's a rescue from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which holds horse auctions after roundups.
So far there are few leads.
"The license plate that went with the trailer, it was stolen," said Davis.
Barbara Hallford volunteers with a Sonoma Co. Horse rescue organization, she hopes the culprits will be caught.
"They need to spend time in jail, somebody should stick them in a hot trailer for 24 hours," said Hallford.
Those responsible could face charges of felony animal cruelty. If the horses aren't claimed, they could be put up for adoption in the future.
Abandoned: 2 elderly horses found inside trailer in Windsor, left up to 24 hours with no food or water