A distressed horse surprised rescuers when it walked away without serious injury after two of its legs became trapped in a cattle grid.
The horse escaped from a property in Abertillery, South Wales, on 13 December, and on attempting to cross a cattle grid both his left legs slipped through the bars.
RSPCA animal collection officer Stephanie Davidson, who was called to the scene by a member of the public, said: “This poor horse was understandably in distress as he was unable to move or free himself from the cattle grid.
“The owner was notified and a vet attended along with the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service. The horse must have tried to walk over it and unfortunately slipped in.”
Stephanie said the expert fire service team used specialist equipment to cut the horse free.
“He had been through quite an ordeal, but was ok after he was released,” she said.
“He was checked over by a vet and there were no breaks. I was so relieved but surprised he got up and walked off.”
A spokesman for RSPCA Cymru said the horse suffered some “superficial” wounds but was given a “clean bill of health” by the vet. He added that the charity often works with the fire service on animal rescues where they can provide specialist equipment.
“We are always exceptionally grateful for the support of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service in helping rescue equines – and this was a great outcome. By working collaboratively with the fire and rescue service, we can do more to help keep animals safe,” said Stephanie.
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“RSPCA Cymru continues to urge owners to check their animals, ideally twice each day, to help ensure they are safe and out of harm’s way. By checking fences, gates and perimeters of paddocks, owners can help prevent their horses straying into areas of danger.”
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service station manager Simon Brown said: “We used specialist cutting and spreading equipment to free the horse, who was thankfully unharmed. We would like to thank the farm owner and everyone involved for assisting with the rescue.”
The RSPCA spokesman urged anyone who sees a horse in distress to call the 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999.
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