LAKELAND (FOX 13) - Polk County Sheriff's Office, fire rescue crews, department of agriculture and local veterinarians worked together Saturday to rescue a horse that had become trapped in a Lakeland pond.
When deputies arrived on the scene shortly after 3:00 p.m. Saturday, they discovered a 20-year-old mare Quarter horse stuck in about six feet of mucky water.
According to Donna Wood, a spokesperson PCSO, the surrounding area of the pond had decomposing wood mulch and muck making it difficult for the horse to find solid ground.
Members of the agricultural unit responded to the scene with equipment from the Florida Department of Agriculture's State Agriculture Rescue Team (SART).
Polk County Fire Rescue Squad 591 and Fire Engine 111 responded to the scene. Volunteer members of the PCSO Mounted Search and Rescue Team, or MSART, and two veterinarians also responded to assist.
"Only the head and small a portion of the horse’s back were visible; the rest of the horse’s body was submerged," said PCSO's Donna Wood.
The horse was lifted out of the water using an A-Frame rescue system, which employs a ropes and pulleys to lift livestock and other large animals.
She was dried with towels, and with assistance, was able to stand after being in the water for almost two-and-a-half hours.
The horse was then covered with a horse blanket and placed in a covered barn with hay for the evening. She was evaluated by a veterinarian and was in stable condition after the rescue effort.