Sometimes It Takes a Crew to Save a Horse
At 8:11 AM Arcata Fire District was requested by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) to assist with a horse that was stuck over a bank. Deputies and the Sherriff’s Animal Control Officer were at the scene and determined they needed additional staffing and equipment to aid in the rescue. The horse was stuck on its side between a large log and a tree over the side of a steep bank.
Firefighters from Arcata Fire District arrived to assist and found deputies and the County’s Animal Control Officer working to keep the horse calm.
The horse was trying to stand up but was unable to because she was pinned between a large log and a tree. It was unclear how the horse had got stuck but it appeared she rolled down a steep hill into this position. The horses’ legs were higher than her body which made it difficult for her to roll or swing her head around and get to her feet. Her body was sunken in a crevice on the hillside with a tree against her belly.
Crews placed a blanket on the horse to begin warming her to prevent hypothermia. A halter and lead rope were placed on her head to help control her as crews worked around her legs. Emergency workers used battery powered saws to cut two trees down that were preventing the horse from standing up on her own. Once the trees were cut, emergency workers used the lead rope and helped get the horse to her feet.
Battalion Chief Campbell reported, “She looked like she had been there for quite a few hours. Once we got her on her feet, we let her rest and regain her bearings. She was a little shaky but happy to be standing. Once she regained some strength we led her up the hill to her field”.
The owner of the horse and multiple neighbors assisted in the rescue. The HCSO and the Arcata Fire District have supported each other in multiple animal rescues over the last few years. Both agencies are interested in finding training to better prepare their personnel for future animal rescues.
Captain Evenson stated, “We are glad everything worked out for her. There was really good teamwork between everyone that helped. We don’t see these types of incidents often so we rely on everyone’s input to develop a safe plan. We want to help the animal and keep everyone safe while doing it”.