FREMONT, Calif. --Police are investigating how a 6-day-old colt ended up stranded in a ravine in California. The horse was injured and may have been trapped for two days. Firefighters rescued him from Morrison Canyon, near Fremont, on Sunday.
The baby horse is being cared for in Pleasanton, but may not make it.
Around Fremont's Fire Station #4, they get plenty of calls.
"You just never know what you are going to run into in the fire service," said Orth Ahmad with the Fremont Fire Department.
But Ahmad never had one like this -- a tiny 6-day-old horse was injured and dying at the bottom of a steep ravine.
"All I know is it was separated from its mother at some point and might have fallen down," he said.
All through the rescue, Sarah Cattaneo with Fremont Animal Services cradled the horse's head in her arms.
"He was laying in a creek in a pool of water, he was soaking and shaking," she said. "He was probably in shock at that point."
She says he was there for at least two days and added that the vet was surprised he survived at all.
Well, he did.
Since they rescued him on Valentine's Day, they named him Valentine. But this is hardly a storybook ending. Not yet, anyway. Little Valentine has a broken pelvis from the fall.
"Every time he gets up and lays back down, the fracture rubs against a major artery," Cattaneo explained. "And if it rubs the wrong way and it ruptures that artery, he could bleed to death."
So she is going above and beyond. Cattaneo spent Sunday night with Valentine and again on Monday night.
But what she and her department really hope for is a donation. Valentine needs an emergency surgery that will cost $7,000 to $10,000.
"He has a will to live," Cattaneo said. "The vet was shocked that he made it through it."
So now he just needs funding. For a horse that began life, literally at the bottom, he has nowhere to go but up.
If you'd like to help, click here for information about the Tri-City Animal Shelter or call 510-790-6640 if you'd like to donate.
This 6-day-old colt has already been through a lot. pic.twitter.com/S72Yqh118C— Wayne Freedman (@WayneFreedman) February 16, 2016