Farm animals at risk after Tijuana River Valley floods

SAN DIEGO -- Farmers and ranchers in the Tijuana River Valley were on high alert Tuesday. They are worried not only for the high levels of flooding, but the contaminated water the animals are standing in.

Vickie Pasterak walks her miniature therapy horse out of the flooded farm on Feb. 28. 2017.

Vickie Pasterak walks her miniature therapy horse out of the flooded farm on Feb. 28. 2017.

SkyFOX aerial video showed a perspective of just how flooded farms were in that area.

“This ranch never flooded. This is the first time I saw this much water,” said rancher Isauro PerezChica.

PerezChica has been ready for evacuations since heavy rain flooded his neighbors Suncoast Farms. The 40-acre boarding facility had to move all of their animals to higher ground Monday as record-breaking rainfall hit San Diego County.

The high water wasn’t the only concern. The contaminated water horses and other animals were standing in is most worrisome.

Over the last two week, more than 140 million gallons of sewage spilled from Mexicon and into the Tijuana River Valley – not far from PerezChica's property. A federal investigation was requested by local government officials blaming Mexico for not disclosing the sewage spill for over 17 days.

“That’s obviously what’s flowing here. We have a concern for illness for the animals if they have any open cuts or sores then they are getting bacteria in their hooves. They can get all kinds of hoof ailments and diseases,” said Vickie Pasterak, who boards her animals at Suncoast Farms.

“I have two horses here. I have this little miniature therapy horse. Then I have a retired warm blood,” said Pasterak. She told FOX 5 she has full faith in Suncoast Farms doing their job if they had to evacuate for flooding. She says they have a plan already in place, but like others who board at the farm it’s their animal’s health that worries them.

Ranchers tell say it will likely be about a month before they can get back to normal.