"Most animals we rescued, we knew where we were taking them from. They were fenced-in properties just being taken over by water," said Steve Reams, spokesman for the Weld County sheriff's department. "Everything you can imagine a farmer would have out on their property we've helped to move around over the last few days: horses, cattle, llamas, donkeys, all your agricultural varieties."
One horse in Weld County became the focus of public concern after it was seen from a news helicopter standing alone in a flooded field, braving the rising water by himself next to a patch of fence being overtaken by water.
The news crew that spotted the horse named Socks later found that the horse and others on the farm had been moved to safety a short time later, according to WUSA.
"That horse was showed numerous times on the news," Reams said. "A day and a half later the farmer was able to get back to its horse and remove it from the property and it was fine."
Reams said the rescue efforts in the rural parts of Colorado have been mostly made up of volunteers working with the mounted posse of the Sheriff's Office to go to flooding properties and load livestock onto horse trailers, move them to an arena where the posse practices, and then find temporary homes for them until the water recedes.
"They're in foster care," Reams said. "A lot of the animals are already going back (to their owners). Most will be back there within the week. Some places they won't be able to go back because the houses are uninhabitable and the homeowner needs to find a place to go, too," he said.
In all, Reams said he's tallied 16 long horn cattle, 12 bucking bulls, six cows, three cows that had a calf, 10 goats, a pig, 32 horses, and five ponies or colts that have been rescued in Weld County. As of Tuesday, 13 of those animals had been reunited with owners, and he expected that number to already be on the rise, he said.
Donations of animal feed have poured in, he added, since owners lost much of their livestock food in the floods.
The Associated Press contributed to this report