Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Horse Rescue Prompts Warning For Animal Owners

Animal owners are being reminded to secure grazing areas and fence off ditches and open water spots after a horse rescue today (Tuesday, July 9).

At 7.25am one crew from Cambridge, one crew from Soham and a rescue vehicle from Cambridge were called to reports of a horse trapped in a mud-filled ditch off Prickwillow Road, Isleham.

The grey horse was stuck in a deep ditch on the edge of a field when firefighters arrived. A vet was called to sedate the horse and crews, including specially trained animal rescue personnel, used strops to begin releasing the horse from the mud. Owing to the tight access into and out of the ditch, a local farmer with a teleporter assisted firefighters in using "drag techniques" to fully rescue the horse, which was left in the care of a vet.

The horse was released by 9.40am and crews returned to their stations by 11am.

Russell Metcalfe, Animal Rescue Specialist at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said this is a timely reminder for not just horse owners, but all animal owners, to make sure the area where their animals graze or are kept is safe and free from hazards.

He said: "In hot weather, animals will often look for shady places or spots where they can cool down, like water-filled ditches, dykes and ponds.

"We're urging farmers, horse owners and other pet-owners to make sure ditches and places of open water are effectively fenced off to avoid any animals getting stuck.

"Seeing your animal in distress can be extremely traumatic for owners, so please take steps to minimise the risk of this happening to you. This was a particularly difficult rescue because the horse was extremely wedged in, but luckily crews worked very hard to apply all their training and get the horse out safely and calmly."

Fire crews and its animal rescue specialists will be running animal rescue demonstrations and offering advice to owners at an event on Sunday (July 14). The team will be at the open day at Isle Veterinary Group, in West Fen Road, Ely, which runs from 11am until 2pm.