RIVERTON TOWNSHIP — It took several firefighters and other helpers pulling on a tow strap around the horse’s hind end, but Bella, a 2-year-old draft horse, finally got up and moving after an hour and a half beside a pond she had fallen into after breaking through the ice.
Bella and a 15-year-old male Foxtrotter named Shelby (named for the Shelby Cobra Mustang sports car) found their way into a pond behind the Cameron family sawmill on West Meisenheimer Road.
The horses belong to Katlin Hammond and Blake Cameron and stay in a barn near the sawmill.
The horses hopped, trampled or just walked over two strands of electric wire in their escape, heading north toward a pond, where they walked out and broke through the ice. Katlin thought they were in the pole barn, but saw later that their tracks headed for the north end of their pasture. The trail wandered through the woods and to the pond where she found them — shoulder deep in the pond.
See RESCUED, A3
From page A1
She called for help. Shelby was the more easily rescued of the two and was in the barn warming up about a half hour after firefighters were called. A come-along winch was strapped to a tree to help pull the horses from the ice, after which Shelby walked back to the barn with Katlin.
Bella was a tougher chore. She was able to be helped from the pond, but couldn’t stand after she got to the edge of the pond. Blake, neighbors and firefighters covered her in blankets and brought a portable forced-air kerosene heater down to the edge of the pond. They also built a campfire beside her.
Bella finally came around when Katlin and Mason County Animal Control Officer Alesha Miller brought down some hay.
Bella ate readily and was soon shifting and moving her legs under the blanket. The firefighters decided it was time to help her up. While some worked to straighten her front legs in front of her, others got ready to haul on the tow strap to lift her backside.
She wobbled and paused, but eventually she made her way to the barn with support from the firefighters and neighbors.
Miller said that Dr. Rex Paine checked both horses’ core temperatures Wednesday evening and both were doing well.
“He said ‘You’d be amazed what horses can go through,’” Miller said.