Animals Abandoned & Rescued In The Mojave Desert
By Dennis G. Casebier
Author of the Mojave Road Guide &
Founder of the Goffs Historic Cultural Center

One of the artifacts included in the outdoor museum at Goffs Cultural Center.

Sept. 3rd, 2010: As I have said many times, you never know what is going to happen next in Goffs. My wife, Jo Anne, and I went on “the walk” up Lanfair Road this morning early. Up about where the Mojave National Preserve sign is (near where the First Segment EMHT takes off) what to our wondering eyes should appear but a horse. A brown horse looking to be in bad shape. He was on the ground. We hiked back to the house, got a bucket and some containers of water, and drove back up there. As I approached the horse he managed to get on his feet and tried to move away from us. I put the bucket down and started pouring water in it making a splashing sound. That was music to his ears! I filled the bucket and walked off a few paces. The horse approached slowly, stuck his nose down in the bucket, and sucked up the contents in less time than it takes to tell about it. So I filled it again. Same result.

With the horse pretty well watered we got in the Expedition and went back to the house. I called a Mojave National Preserve Ranger and he said he’d set the wheels in motion. Not too long later I received a call from the Mojave National Preserve maintenance department. One of their rangers was at Hole-in-the-Wall, but was heading for Baker where they have a horse trailer. He would then come to Goffs at gather up the horse.

At about 2:00 p.m. we went back up to the horse with more water. The person from the maintenance department wasn’t there yet, but there were two rangers there giving the horse water and assisting him as they could. One of the rangers was Kelsey Cassidy who happens to be a “horse person.” She was working with the horse.They were waiting for the trailer to arrive from Baker.

The horse was in very bad shape. He had sores and was very thin. There was considerable evidence of neglect and abuse.

Early-on I had called the one of the local Ranches, who sometimes have horses,  to be sure this horse wasn’t theirs. No luck. They told me something I had already heard about. Since the economic downturn a number of individuals have come out from the cities and dumped their critters – including horses. Once you have walked away from a mortgage I suppose it isn’t much of a step to dump a horse.

The Ranger arrived with the trailer from Baker. About the same time an animal control person appeared. Final solution was that one of the Ranger’s took charge, got the horse loaded on the trailer, and took him to a friend’s place who would take him in in Mohave Valley, AZ.

Later reports are that the horse had received medical treatment … and of course food and water. The most recent statement I have was “if he could make it another couple of days he’d likely be OK.” Also we’re told by the Vet if we hadn’t gotten water to him when we did he would have died. Still later reports were that you wouldn’t recognize the horse. He’s  had medical treatment, a bath, and very good care.

The following day  Dennis & his staff encountered another suffering animal in the nearby desert area.  Here is his story …

Sept. 4th, 2010: Mid-Day today a pickup truck pulling a vehicle laden with two Sea-Doos pulled up to the Goffs Cultural Center. This is not an uncommon sight, especially on weekends – as there are literally hundreds of such outfitl making their way to the Rio Colorado of the West. These nice people reported that they saw a suffering dog off on the south side of Goffs Road about a mile west of the Goffs Cultural Center. They were hopeful we would be able to tell if it was a local dog or not.

We went over there as soon as we could. These same people had removed the still-suffering dog off to the side of the road. They had him laying on a blanket and were giving him water. They had contacted an Animal Control Office and were informed it would be at least three or four hours before anyone could get there.

When we arrived we confirmed that the stricken animal did not seem to be a local dog. Given that and examining the physical evidence in the roadway, we all concluded this dog had in some way been ejected from a passing vehicle. You could see where he had first hit the pavement likely at high speed. Lots of vehicles buzz up and down Goffs Road (mostly going to and from the river) with dogs in the back of pickups. This mishap occurred near a undulation in the roadway so maybe the dog was perched precariously to begin with but was thrown off balance and out of the truck when the vehicle passed over the undulation. I will refrain from commenting on people who treat their critters this way – the situation speaks for itself.

You would think the driver would have known he lost a passenger and would have stopped. Or that they would have discovered the problem down the road somewhere and would have come back – but not so.

The people with the Sea-Doos were headed East towards the river anyway so it was decided they would carry the dog into Needles to the animal shelter. The dog was grievously wounded so it is likely he was put down.

For more information about Dennis Casebier, Goffs and the Goffs Historical Cultural Center, please visit these pages on

Goffs School
Goffs Railway Depot & Desert Library
Dennis Casebier and The Mojave Road


  1. I just want to ” THANK YOU DENNIS ” If there were more kind people in this world like you this world would be a better place for all. You are truly a sweetheart always caring about animals that many would ignore and go about their day without a second thought.


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