A 17-year-old gelding called Shiraz went too Phar with his Lap swimming earlier this week, having to be rescued after he found himself unable to get out of a neigh-bour’s pool in Cottles Creek.
Emergency services were called to help rescue the horse after initial attempts to get him to vacate the pool were unsuccessful.
CFA volunteer firefighters from Hurstbridge and Research fire brigades responded, as well as Arthurs Creek fire brigade’s Large Animal Rescue Team, which has specialist equipment for animal rescues.
Arthurs Creek fire brigade 3rd Lieutenant Lisal O’Brien said they worked with a vet, the property owner, horse owner and VICSES Nillumbik to safely rescue the 450-kilo horse.
“We always respond with a large animal vet to ensure animal welfare at all times,” she said.
While Shiraz seemed unfazed by being trapped in the pool, Lisal said large animal rescues were among the most dynamic rescues attended by CFA firefighters.
“A horse can explode at any given time, so we have to keep the scene as quiet as possible so that no one gets injured.” she explained.
“Arriving at a large animal rescue is the complete flip side of arriving at a fire – we arrive quietly, with no lights and sirens, we turn the radios down – it’s totally opposite.
“Keeping the scene quiet and reducing any form of stimulation allows the animal to remain calm.”
SES and CFA volunteers worked together to lower the water level in the pool while a ramp system was brought in to help the horse get out of the pool on its own.
It was a success, with Shiraz making his way up the ramp and enjoying a few pats from worried owner Kylie.
“He loves water so my suspicion is that he’s pushed the gate open and got in willingly,” she said. “You take him down to the beach and he’s like a little child running in and out with the waves. He even surfs in on the waves.”
Lisal O’Brien urged anyone who finds their large animal in a sticky situation to reach out as soon as possible, calling Triple Zero and requesting Arthurs Creek or Macclesfield fire brigades, which both specialise in large animal rescues.
“We don’t mind if we get half-way there and have to turn around because the animal has been able to get out, we’d rather be called early to avoid the situation escalating,” she said.
“Even on our way to an incident, it’s great if we can be sent photos from the scene so that we can start working on a plan before we’re even there. We always have a number of scenarios so if Plan A doesn’t work, we can move onto Plan B and so on, until we find the solution that works for that situation.”
- SES and CFA volunteers worked together to reduce the water level in the pool and put in a ramp to allow Shiraz to walk out of the pool himself
- Waiting rescue
- Sea horse: owner Kylie pictured with Shiraz at the beach, says he loves water and probably got in the pool willingly