California authorities are expected to head to flooded ranches in San Jose to rescue 28 horses that have been standing in water for two days.
The horses have been trapped since Tuesday, when flooding prompted the evacuation of 14,000 San Jose residents. Police and animal control crews have been waiting for water to recede in order to safely pull the horses out.
"Our agency has spoken with large animal veterinarians and large animal rescue agencies, who have advised us that it is best for the horses to shelter in place, due to the possibility of obstacles under the water that could cause harm to the horses," said Rebekah Davis, SJ Animal Care and Services spokeswoman.
Davis said the agency was unable to rescue the horses Wednesday because of fast-moving creek water, "which is fortunately receding."
Some horse owners asked for animal control officers to airlift the horses with helicopters. But officials said that would require sedating the horses. Doing so could have posed a health risk to the horses because they are probably suffering from hypothermia.
Animals lovers like Mike McKinzie drove three hours Wednesday with his boat in tow to offer help when he heard they needed a vessel to get food and clean water to the horses.
Unfortunately, the current proved too strong.
"I need a little more experience with the boat before I try it out," McKinzie said.
By late Wednesday, the water level had decreased and the horses were standing in hoof-high water. According to Davis, food and water had been brought to all of the animals.
The horses' owner said they are grateful for all the help they have received.