More than 50 miniature donkeys who survived the Border Fire in June are now facing another danger.
Friday, all of them were returned to the ranch and to their owner Kim Fuson.
"We thought we were out of the woods," Fuson told 10News over the phone.
Unfortunately, overnight June 26 their smallest foal named Sweet Child of Mine (Sweet for short) died. Fuson says the evacuation took its toll on the donkeys and 19 became ill.
She posted on Facebook "[Sweet's] loss is tragic and crushing. Now we have to fight on to save the other ones. Have several more foals in serious trouble. Please pray for us."
Fuson described the sickness like an "airborne virus," exasperated by all the debris thrown up into the air by the border fire.
She says they are treating the donkeys twice a day, taking temperatures and giving medicines. Four in critical condition have been taken to San Luis Rey Equine Hospital, which she described as "the gold standard as far as vets go."
"I call them the hospital of hope, because they DO work miracles!" Fuson said in an e-mail to 10News.
She says the expenses for this kind of medical care will cost thousands of dollars for each donkey. When asked how she was doing, Fuson said, "Not great. Kinda scatter brained and I cry a lot."
"I pray they can save these miniature donkeys, our kids," Fuson said.