As the Tubbs Fire closed in on her area on Oct. 9, one woman had to think quickly to save all of her horses.
Ferocious fires have sent entire neighborhoods fleeing, often only giving people mere minutes (or less) to grab those things that are most important to them.
Lauren Mesaros lives across the train tracks from Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park neighborhood, which was devastated by the Tubbs Fire.
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Upon realizing she had to evacuate, the registered nurse at UC San Francisco knew what was most important to her: her three horses, according to The Press Democrat.
Her friend Carol Spears’ trailer could only fit two of the three horses, which left Mesaros to make a quick decision to save all three.
She decided to pack her pony, Stardust, into the back seat of her 2001 Honda Accord. Using a carrot, she and Spears – whom Mesaros calls “a horse whisperer” – got Stardust into the car, SFGate reports.
“He just went in like a big dog. As a horse owner we didn’t think twice about it. It’s like putting your dog or cat in the car,” Mesaros told The Press Democrat.
Mesaros and her horses made it out to safety, and the horses are being housed at Wind Horse Ranch, according to The Press Democrat.
A photo taken by neighbor Lisette Hall Frye has since gone viral on Facebook.
Hall Frye told The Sacramento Bee that her reaction to seeing Mesaros get the pony in the car was one of “shear amazement.”
“Couldn’t believe Lauren got Stardust to go into the back seat of her car,” Hall Frye said. “A little coaxing with a carrot and he went right in! We were beyond thrilled and relieved that he could be evacuated safely!
“My husband says: It looks like Ford has competition for a new pony car!”