Dakota's Emergency Care

On October 9, the Canyon Fire 2 in Orange County caused widespread, immediate evacuations of both people and animals, forced from their homes. Our horse Dakota, owned by my mom Diane and her boyfriend Greg along with their friend Vicky, was one of those evacuees, and in the process of transport, he was gravely injured. We very nearly lost our beloved boy and it has only been through constant attention and extensive medical care that he has survived this ordeal, but he is far from out of the woods.

When members of the barn found out that morning about the mandatory evacuations, the entire community was thrown into chaos. It was a scramble for all of the horses' owners to find ways to get them out and places to take them before it was too late. After a difficult time loading him into the trailer, Dakota finally made it to the Orange County Fairgrounds, but the ride was, of course, extremely stressful for him and for everyone involved. Tragically, as he backed out of the trailer in a rush of panic, he slipped and took a hard fall onto the pavement, falling flat on his side. This was a nightmare come true, worst fears realized. Too exhausted to move and unable to get up, he lay there on the hot asphalt for four hours in overwhelming pain and distress.

For any horse, this could be a catastrophic injury, but for a horse of his age, nearly 30, it almost always means the end. Only after hours of trying to help push him up and with the aid of a powerful combination of medications did he finally get up -- but even then he was only given a 20% chance of survival as lying on the ground for such a long time for so large an animal can cause devastating internal injuries. 

While he has slowly improved in the past few days, he is still in very fragile condition. His medical bills continue to mount as his injuries are treated and new complications arise. 

For anyone who has ever loved an animal, you know how much they mean to you as a best friend and member of the family...how much they rely on you to take care of them in times of trouble...how your heart breaks when you see them in pain...and how you would do anything in your power to make them well and happy, if you could.

My mom and Greg continue to stand by Dakota's side, to see him through this overwhelming ordeal, and I am standing by theirs. While I know my mother would never dare ask for assistance, it is all I can do to ask for your consideration and support on her behalf. Dakota has been a sweet and wonderful friend, and precious member of our family since I was in high school. 

I am incredibly thankful to have had Dakota in my family's life for so many years, and I am beyond grateful for your consideration and support for his care in this traumatic time. For all your thoughts, prayers, love, and assistance, my family and I send you our many, many thanks.

Dakota on the news shortly after he stood up.


For those of you who don't know me personally, my name is Caitlin Dodson and I'm from Tustin, California. My mom is Diane Dodson. Our horse Dakota was stabled in Orange Park Acres, CA, and had to be evacuated to the Orange County Fairgrounds due to the Canyon Fire 2. He was seriously injured in the process of transport. This campaign is to raise funds for my mom, Diane, who is shouldering the burden of Dakota's care. These funds will be used to pay his vet bills and any other expenses related to his care that have resulted from this crisis. I have named my mom, Diane, as the beneficiary of this campaign so that she may withdraw the funds directly. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
  • Linda Keely 
    • $20 
    • 50 mos
  • Carrot Sponsor 
    • $100 
    • 51 mos
  • Cindy Cooper 
    • $25 
    • 51 mos
  • Pam Richman 
    • $20 
    • 51 mos
  • Howard Green 
    • $50 
    • 51 mos
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Organizer and beneficiary

Caitlin Dodson 
Tustin, CA
Diane Dodson 
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