North River Fire Department rescues horse from swimming pool
'We don't usually get a horse drowning in a pool call,' says Lt. Dean Smith
P.E.I.'s North River Fire Department was involved in an unusual rescue Wednesday night after being called to help pull a horse from a backyard swimming pool.
I went right to her … and in her eye, I knew she was going to survive this.— Owner Mike Arsenault
"That's very unique because we don't usually get a horse drowning in a pool call," said Lt. Dean Smith.
When fire officials arrived at the scene in Emyvale, P.E.I., they found a 33-year-old mare stuck in an in-ground pool.
'A very tough horse'
According to the fire department, a tree fell over on the fence enclosing the horse's pasture, allowing the horse to escape and step onto the pool's trampoline-like canvas cover.
One of the horse's legs burst through the covering, causing the horse to fall over and leaving it laying in about a foot of cold water.
Owner Mike Arsenault arrived home to find the rescue efforts already underway.
"Being 33 years old, I figured she's going to not do well with this thing," he said.
"I went right to her … and in her eye, I knew she was going to survive this. She's a very tough horse."
Firefighters placed straps under the horse and lifted it manually in order to hoist the horse out of the pool. The process took about 15 minutes.
"We didn't want to use ropes or anything because that would be too narrow and would cut the horse when we started to pull," Smith said.
"The straps that we used are like a belt strap that we use ourselves going up in the ladder truck. And they are probably six to eight inches wide, so it gave more of working surface on the horse when we went to pull her out of the water."
It took the horse about two hours to stand up once it had been pulled from the pool, Smith said.
"We were quite concerned about the horse's health and how it was going to fare at the end of the day," he said.
A vet was brought in and the horse was given fluid through warm IV bags. The horse was treated for hypothermia and minor cuts and abrasions.
Smith said the horse is now doing fine.
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With files from Stephanie Kelly