Owner praises ‘incredible’ fire service for trying to save her horse

  • The owner of a horse who was put down after he collapsed from grass sickness wants others to support the “incredible” fire and rescue service who tried to save him.

    Dayna Potter and her family found homebred 16hh four-year-old gelding Mouse down in the stable at their farm on Sunday evening (31 March).

    Dayna told H&H: “Mouse had been losing weight which was really unlike him. He went downhill last Thursday (28 March) and the vet diagnosed grass sickness.

    “On Sunday he had a good day and looked on the up. We were checking him every two hours but when we went to check him at 8pm he’d gone down. He kept trying to get up, it was like he knew he had to, but he couldn’t – it was heartbreaking.

    “He got himself stuck in the stable but we managed to get him turned round with ratchet straps round his legs, then he got himself out of the stable.”

    Dayna contacted her vet and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.

    “We knew we weren’t going to get him up on our own and would need the fire brigade,” said Dayna. “We hoped his legs had just gone numb from being down for so long and he would be ok once he was up.

    “The local team from Farnham fire station arrived first at 11.30pm and then crew from Painhill arrived with the crane to pick him up. The vet sedated him and the fire brigade got him back up on his feet.”

    Dayna said the fire crew waited with Mouse to make sure he was ok.

    “Everyone was cheering that we had got him up and he seemed fine. They left him in the straps for a while to regain himself and once he seemed to be holding himself up ok one of the crew walked him round,” she said.

    “The vet had checked him over and he had an appetite and was eating carrots. I went home but my mum phoned to say he had gone down again so I rushed back to the farm and we decided we had to call it a day and he was put to sleep.”

    Dayna wants others to support Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, which is going through a consultation period, and may have to introduce charges for large animal rescue in the future as part of the Making Surrey Safer Plan 2020-2023.

    “I could tell from the minute the crew arrived they were going to put their heart and soul into saving Mouse – they were so invested. They were the only ones who could keep us calm and told us not to worry, they were so positive and you could really see the crew cared about Mouse,” said Dayna.

    “I saw the H&H story a few weeks ago about the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service consultation and that we might have to pay for animal rescue and I want to show my thanks and appreciation to the fire service by raising awareness of the incredible job they do.”

    Owners have until 26 May to share their views on the consultation by completing an online survey.

    “I don’t want sympathy, but if any positive can come out of this horrendous situation I want the fire service animal rescue unit to be supported,” said Dayna.

    “If the service becomes chargeable it could put people off calling them out. I don’t want anyone to be in the situation I was in and not call the fire brigade because they either can’t afford it or one day it’s not there.”

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