LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Two horses left for dead were taken by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s sergeant earlier this spring — and now the pair has a new purpose in life.

KNX 1070’s Diane Thompson reports “Dude” and “Ladybug” are living the high life in Leona Valley, thanks to “KNX Hero” Sgt. John Hargraves.

Just one year ago, both horses were in bad shape: Dude was found starving, injured and trapped under a fence in Downey, while Ladybug was struggling to regain her health after a Lancaster woman left the red mare behind.

“When she was going through a divorce with her husband, she took her ten best horses and took off for Arizona, and left the other eleven there to die,” said Hargraves.

But in the near future, Dude and Ladybug will become deputized members of the sheriff department’s Mounted Enforcement Detail, where they will be patrolling parks and working crowd control.

“The advantages to having a horse and rider versus a motorcycle or a car is they can get into more places,” said Hargraves. “It gives us a good lookout post to see far away, because they are nine feet up in the air.”

And yes, Hargraves confirmed that the “laid-back” Dude is named after the lead character in the Jeff Bridges film, “The Big Lebowski”.

Besides Dude and Ladybug, Sgt. Hargraves and his wife have taken in five other horses in need, tending not just to their physical need, but their emotional ones as well.

“The other horses actually get jealous when I’m riding these two, so I have to work with the other horses as well just to help keep the peace around here,” said Hargraves.

Comments (16)
  1. TT says:

    Well Done !!! Its so good to hear that these animals finally have a a “Happily Ever After “… Thank you for caring …..Its awsome 🙂

  2. Cindy says:

    Sgt. Hargraves is my Hero!

  3. MMcK says:

    How to go Sgt. John Hargraves, wish there were more people of your caliber on this earth.

  4. icecream says:

    You Rock, Sarge !!!

  5. Kat Ramirez says:

    Giddyup Ladybug!

  6. cupcakeprincess says:

    He’s one of my heros and my Sarge 😀 … and really great guy to know!!!

    1. cupcakeprincess says:

      oops! ^ a

  7. Lisa Beers Rauch says:

    Aldabella…would be a perfect name for such a beautiful foal. It means beautiful in Italian.

  8. Our Anna says:

    Yea! Happy story for a change…those horses are lovely too. Sad fact is with the poor economy this is happening too often. If only people would adopt horses and dogs, cats before buying/encouraging breeders. It would hit the breeders in the pocket book, but fewer starved or mistreated animals until the industries “right-size”

  9. RhiRhi2 says:

    He should name the filly Doodlebug. Dad is Dude mom is Ladybug. Put the two together.

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