by: Deborah Horne Updated:
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. - The prospect of treats brought Buffie DeMuth's horses running at the Eagle Ridge Equestrian Center. Most of them had already been rescued from the slaughterhouse. Then came the deadly Oso landslide.
"I was listening to the scanner," said DeMuth. "And they were talking about evacuations and I knew I wouldn't be able to get the horses out in 10 minutes.”
When the earth moved Saturday, it unleashed a wall of mud that buried an entire neighborhood. It also sparked fears that the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River might flood. So DeMuth, who lives along the river, was frantic to save her animals.
"They're just like our children," said Eagle Ridge Owner Pamela McMahon. "They're high on the priority list."
McMahon knew little about the disaster when DeMuth called for help. But she understood DeMuth's need to quickly find a place for her horses.
"We're all a big community of horse lovers out here and I've known Buffie as well as the other clients of mine that live out there," said McMahon. "So when they asked for a place to put the horses, I'm pretty well equipped to do that."
The flags are at half-staff in this community filled with so much pain; a pain DeMuth feels even knowing her horses and her granddaughter are safe.
"We're all praying," she said. "I think a lot of people are praying for people to come out alive."
DeMuth says she isn't sure when she and her horses will go back home.
Now, other horse owners are calling Eagle Ridge, afraid the rain will force them to higher ground, too.