A veterinarian treats the horse after it was pulled from a swimming pool at a rural Auburn residence early Wednesday morning. COURTESY PHOTO, Mountain View Fire & Rescue

Neighbors, firefighters rescue horse

Mountain View Fire & Rescue and quick-thinking neighbors rescued a horse that had fallen into a swimming pool at an Auburn ranch near Flaming Geyser State Park early Wednesday morning.

“By the time we got there, the horse was pretty hypothermic,” said Tim Perciful, spokesman for Mountain View Fire & Rescue. “The horse was so weak, it couldn’t stand in the water. It was just barely keeping its head above the water.”

The owner first discovered the horse in the pool and immediately got help. Neighbors fastened a rope around the 26-year-old male horse and used a tractor to pull him from the water, Perciful said.

As of the most up-to-date social media reports from neighbors and friends of the horse’s owner, the horse was recovering. The horse’s owner did not want to be interviewed by reporters.

The horse somehow got out of its stall, Perciful said, and wandered onto the tarp-covered swimming pool.

“My assumption is the horse thought it was solid ground, or it was too dark and he just didn’t see,” he said.

No one knew how long the horse had been in the pool, said Perciful, whose crew was first contacted about 9 a.m.

After the horse was pulled to safety, firefighters wrapped him in warm blankets and a veterinarian treated him. The horse was able to stand on its own after about an hour with the help of firefighters, the owner and others.

Perciful, a fire and life safety educator for Mountain View Fire & Rescue, said he had seen all kinds of rescues before, but nothing quite like this one. Outside of work, he trains individuals and crews throughout the country in the techniques of large animal rescue. He teaches pet first aid and CPR to people who want to know how to respond to animals in all kinds of emergency situations.

“If you would, it’s kind of my hobby,” he said.

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