A horse is expected to be OK after it was rescued from a sinkhole in German Twp. on Monday, according to a veterinarian.
Police and firefighters responded to the 6000 block of Ballentine Pike on Monday morning after they were alerted of a horse trapped in a hole by the property owners.
“The horses were out all night,” German Twp. Police Chief Michael Stitzel said. “They … came back in to feed them and noticed that one horse didn’t come in.”
First responders arrived to find the 800 pound horse in a sinkhole.
“The horse was … deep into the hole,” Stitzel said. “The only thing that was sticking out was the head.”
The field where the horse was is near a drainage ditch, Stitzel said. That and recent heavy rains may have been what caused the sinkhole.
Officers called a veterinarian, he said, to ensure the safety of the horse during the rescue. Lindsay Long, a veterinarian with Walnut Grove Veterinary Services, was on scene to keep the horse calm.
“The horse was pretty quiet because it was in shock,” Long said. “But I gave it a little bit of tranquilizer to calm it down a little bit and just keep personnel safe.”
The personnel on scene needed more than manpower, Stitzel said. A nearby farmer lent the rescue team a backhoe to use to pull the horse out.
After about two hours, he said, rescuers were able to pull the horse from the hole. She was able to walk shortly after.
“It’s promising that she’s walking,” Long said.
The veterinarian said she’ll examine the horse and give it antibiotics to prevent an infection. She also plans to leave the owners with some pain medicine for the horse, she said.
The horse’s owner declined to comment.
Both Long and Stitzel said they’d never seen anything like the rescue in their years of work.
“Never,” Stitzel said. “I’ve been to some places where they’ve been stuck in some mud or cattle and so on but never in a sinkhole.”
He doesn’t believe the horse was trapped in the hole for long.
“The horse appears to be healthy,” he said. “Just a little sleepy right now and it’s slowly coming out of it.”