A horse slipped from its Amity Township pasture into Monocacy Creek where it became stuck in the icy water for hours until the animal was rescued Wednesday morning by a team of emergency responders and township employees.
Crews were dispatched shortly before 8 a.m. to Galahad Lane near Monocacy Creek Road after someone saw the horse in the creek behind a house on a large lot.
It took a while to orchestrate a rescue involving a team of various crews, including Boyertown-based Keystone Water Rescue.
The Amity Township public works department was requested to respond with a backhoe to assist with hoisting the animal.
Representatives of Safety Net Sanctuary, a Fleetwood-based animal rescue, also responded, as did Western Berks Ambulance and several veterinarians.
A diver with the Keystone Water Rescue team rigged a harness around the horse using two straps borrowed from Harner’s Auto Body Inc. on nearby Benjamin Franklin Highway, said David Feltenberger, on-duty driver for Monocacy Fire Company.
The rigging was anchored to a backhoe on the bank of the creek.
The horse was cold and scared, and too weak to walk when it was hoisted from the creek after a three-hour rescue operation, Feltenberger said.
Amity police Chief Jeff Smith said the veterinarians and the owner of the horse assisted by stabilizing the horse while the backhoe drove the animal to the barn.
Once in the barn, he said, veterinarians and Western Berks medics provided intravenous fluid to the horse.
First responders hung tarps from the barn walls to help keep the barn heated.
The horse, named Smalls, is expected to survive.
No one knew for sure how long the horse had been in the water, Feltenberger said, but it was obviously traumatized by the incident.
Emergency vehicles lined the street. The rescue operation was in the back of the lot along a cul-de-sac. Amity Fire & Rescue deployed a utility task vehicle.
The property owner, whose name was not available, had no comment.
Smith said the following entities took part in some part of the operation: Monocacy Fire Company, Amity Fire & Rescue, Amity Township police and public works departments, Exeter Township Fire Department, Western Berks EMS, Birdsboro-Union Fire Department and Keystone Water Rescue.
Ace Hardware, Douglassville, provided supplies as did Harner’s Auto Body.