10 firefighters rescue horse stuck in stall

Using a system of pulleys and cables, firefighters helped Blondie the horse out of the stall, which was too small for him

By Liora Engel-Smith
The Keene Sentinel

HANCOCK, N.H. — In a rescue operation that took about three hours, 10 firefighters and a local veterinarian, the Hancock Fire Department extricated a horse that fell on its side from its stall, the fire department said.

Hancock police called the Hancock Fire Department to Bennington Road at about 8:30 this morning, said Hancock Fire Department Capt. Thomas Ball.

Using come-alongs, a system of pulleys and cables, which they tied around the horse, firefighters helped the horse out of the stall, he said. He said the stall was too small for the horse, whose name is Blondie, to get up on her own.

By the time Dr. Sara Cook arrived, the draft horse was exhausted from trying to get herself up.

"We don't know how long she was down, she might have been down most of the night," said Cook, a veterinarian who practices at Henniker Veterinary Hospital.

Cook said the rubber mat beneath the horse was icy and slippery, making it difficult for the horse to get the traction she needed to get up.

With the assistance of Cook, firefighters made sure the horse remained calm throughout the rescue, he said. Cook said they gave the horse sugar cubes to encourage her to move forward and to give her energy. They also gave her some anti-inflammatory medication to make her more comfortable.

Ball said the rescue moved slowly because firefighters had to try a few different tactics.

"We wanted to make sure the animal wasn't damaged as we got it out," he said. "... There are no rules on how to get an animal out (so there were) different attempts to position the horse properly."

Cook said horses can became trapped in their stalls because of the way the animals are built.

"It's not uncommon," she said. "They are large and once they have trouble getting up their muscles start to go to sleep, basically like pins and needles."

Fortunately, the horse was unharmed by the fall, Cook said.

Workers from the town highway department also assisted at the scene with tools, according to a news release from Hancock police.

Ball said the fire department rarely gets animal rescue calls of these types.

"We haven't had one in a while, but we've assisted in getting a cow up a couple of years back," he said.

Copyright 2018 The Keene Sentinel


With plenty of muscle, the right tools, some ingenuity and compassionate folks who rushed to assist, we got Blondie the horse out of a tricky situation this morning. Thank you to all who helped.

Posted by Hancock NH Fire Department on Wednesday, January 10, 2018


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