Skinny Horse Frantically Running Through Streets Of Los Angeles During Rainstorm Finds Forever Home

Skinny Horse Frantically Running Through Streets Of Los Angeles During Rainstorm Finds Forever Home

Hanaeleh, a horse rescue in Southern California, shared the amazing rescue story of Lou Dillon with us. Grab a tissue and get ready to have your faith in humanity restored.

It was a rainy day in Los Angeles and as the rain was pouring down a frightened and underweight Thoroughbred horse was seen running through the Watts neighborhood.

The bay gelding was dodging cars and cruel people who were throwing trash and chasing him.


Eventually, he was corralled into the front yard of a kind neighbor on Lou Dillon Boulevard who contacted the LAPD for help.

Elizabeth Zarkos, founder of Hanaeleh, told us there are no stables in Watts, so it is unclear where the horse came from. He was found with wire around his neck and at least 100 pounds underweight.

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Elizabeth shared, "When the officers arrived, the neighbor had fashioned a type of halter out of some rope and put a trash bag over him as a sort of quasi-blanket from the pouring rain."

Officer Sonia Dibell and Officer Robert Yanez arrived to help and decided to name the horse after the street he was found on – Lou Dillon. They waited for hours in the torrential downpour for Baldwin Park Animal Shelter to come with a trailer to pick Lou up.

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No one came forward to claim him and a few weeks later Elizabeth received an email from a LAPD officer asking if she could help. The officers who rescued him formed a close bond with the sweet horse and wanted to find him a loving home, so they emailed Hanaeleh to see if there was room for him.

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Elizabeth wants to help as many horses as possible but runs a small rescue and must ensure she can feed and care for all the animals at the farm. She decided to ask the community for help, and they delivered.

People generously donated towards his care and some even offered to sponsor him. Then the next phase of the process took place...the adoption.


It took a few tries to get in touch with the proper people to officially adopt Lou Dillon, but Elizabeth kept trying until she was approved, and Lou was safe.

However, similar to how she rescued Ulysses, she was contacted by the lieutenant and a volunteer at the shelter about a sweet mare that Lou Dillon had bonded with. They asked if she could possibly take her too.

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The same thought crossed her mind, "Well, I have a two-horse trailer, so why not." She felt comfortable taking on another horse due to the amount of funds she received for Lou Dillon.

The following day she picked up Lou Dillon and his pal, Sweet Pea after overcoming some challenges with her trailer and a long wait at the shelter.

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The horses walked right on the trailer and headed to their new home in Orange County. Both arrived underweight and suffering from arthritis.

"Officer" Lou

Lou Dillon was visited every month by his rescuing officers who brought him carrots. On one special visit the LAPD Mounted Unit gave him an honorary the Mounted Unit Police Badge and plaque. He is now known as “Officer” Lou Dillon with his badge is proudly displayed on his stall.

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It took a group of caring individuals to rescue them, and Elizabeth is forever grateful. "Thank you to everyone who made such a big difference in their lives. Helping one horse- or two- may not make a huge difference in the overall scheme of things, but it made all the difference to their lives. They will never have another day without a meal. They will never have another day where they are mistreated. From now until the end of their lives, they will be safe. And for being able to give both of them that promise, from bottom of my heart: Thank you."

Lou has befriended another rescue horse named Quixote. The geldings love to run and play together.

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Lou Dillon’s heartwarming rescue story has even been turned into a children’s book, written by Elizabeth. Learn more about the other horses who call Hanaeleh home and how you can help support this amazing horse rescue.

"Hanaeleh believes that every single horse, no matter the age, breed, training, or use has inherent individual value. The welfare of all horses is our primary concern."

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Check out Lou Dillon’s transformation in the video below.

Andrea Powell

Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.

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