Fire services and vets in Hampshire worked together to save a foal’s life last Thursday evening (15 October).
The six-month-old filly had got herself stuck in a muddy riverbank. The filly was highly distressed, and not used to human contact or wearing a head collar, so the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service decided to call for a vet’s assistance.
A vet from the Animed Veterinary Practice sedated the foal, both in the safety interests of the filly and rescue crew, before the rescue could begin.
Animal rescue specialist and watch manager Jim Green said: “Once the foal was sedated, the fire and rescue crews were able to skid her to safety using strops. Once in a safe position, she was allowed to stand up.”
The foal was taken to a barn and checked over by a vet, who confirmed the young horse as “fit and healthy”.
The rescue made more complicated by the fact that there were other horses in the field where the filly was stuck — including the foal’s mother father. Both were distressed at their offspring’s predicament, but the stallion was particularly upset and had to be kept at bay by its owners while the rescue was carried out.
Jim Green concluded: “This is another example that demonstrates the importance of a good partnership between the fire service and veterinary experts in ensuring the safe rescue of distressed animals”.