• MUST SEE: Firefighters rescue retired therapy horse stuck in pond

    By: Dave Faherty

    Updated:

    CLAREMONT, N.C. - Firefighters from Claremont Rescue Squad spent Thursday morning working feverishly to rescue a horse that had gotten stuck in a pond.

    Crews were called to the pond just before 9 a.m. after the animal somehow fell into the water and was unable to get out.

    [ALSO READ: North Carolina wild horse killed after getting tangled in unmarked wire]

    Gail Wartner, the executive director at Rising Hope Farms, told Channel 9 the animal, Gideon, is visually impaired and can't hear very well. For 10 years Gideon worked as a therapeutic horse, bringing joy to children with special needs as well as the elderly.

    [IMAGES: Horse rescued from Claremont pond]

    The 25-year-old horse was stuck in water up to his neck, with only his head above the surface. Several times, Gideon tried to free himself from the pond but the mud was too much.

    Firefighters had to bring in a large wrecker truck to help lift the 1,000-pound animal out of the pond.

    Officials told Channel 9 they called a veterinarian to the scene to sedate Gideon before placing straps around the horse and lifting him out of the water.

    Around 10:30 a.m., Gideon was carefully raised out of the pond and brought to dry land.

    “It means the world to me because this horse has spent his whole life serving other people, especially special needs children, and he deserved to have this kind of attention on him,” Wartner said.

    The entire rescue was no ordinary task -- and was emotional at times. Channel 9 reporter Dave Faherty was there and documented those rescue efforts. Scroll down to follow along with his tweets.

     

     

     

     

    Next Up: