California law enforcement authorities are crediting social media with helping find the person who allegedly abandoned an injured mare in Santa Barbara County earlier this month.

Santa Barbara Animal Services representative Stacy Silva said officers responded to a report that a horse had been left on the roadside in Santa Barbara County on Oct. 18. Further investigation revealed that the 12-year-old bay Thoroughbred mare appeared to be malnourished and had open abscesses on her neck, abrasions on her back, and swelling to her chest and abdomen.

“She had injuries that were neglected over the long term and she was malnourished,” Silva said. “She was transported to the Animal Services facility for veterinary care.”

Eye witnesses told investigators that someone driving a tan-colored sport utility vehicle and pulling a brown and white two-horse trailer had unloaded the horse and fled. They provided photos of the vehicle, but the license plate was illegible.

After extensive local news and social media coverage, the horse’s owner surrendered her to Animal Services personnel on Oct. 25.

“We still have no idea how the horse was used,” Silva said. “So, we are still investigating how the mare sustained her injuries.”

No one has been charged in connection with the incident, she said.

Meanwhile the mare, now named Sky, continues to make rapid progress toward a full recovery.

“She is doing very well under the TLC,” Silva said. “Her wound is closing more quickly than we expected and we will have to put some weight on her, but she will be made available for adoption shortly.”

Anyone with information about the incident should call Santa Barbara County Animal Services at 805/934-6119, extension 6. Anyone interested in adopting the mare can e-mail Silva at