A Clydesdale horse has had a lucky escape after falling down a five-metre-deep well after RSPCA Victoria, the CFA and a local veterinarian were called to quickly rescue the horse from a property in Donald on Tuesday.
The horse’s owner made the discovery after hearing a loud splash and upon checking, found the six-year-old gelding submerged in a considerable amount of water at the bottom of an unused well. It was surmised that Soxz the horse had unsuspectingly walked onto wooden sleepers being used to cover the well’s opening. The sleepers collapsed under the sheer weight of the Clydesdale, sending him plummeting down the five-metre drop.
RSPCA Victoria, Donald CFA, CFA’s Oscar-1 Emergency Response Team and a local veterinarian were called to the scene to sedate and safely extract the horse from the well using a harness and crane. Soxz surprisingly escaped with minor injuries but received a full veterinary check-up Tuesday evening to ensure no internal injuries or fractures were sustained.
RSPCA Victoria Inspector, Jeremy Dean, attended the incident to provide animal welfare expertise and assist with the rescue.
“It was shocking to see how far Soxz had fallen. It took a lot of manpower to help him out of the sticky situation, including adequate sedation to ensure the process wasn’t overly stressful,” said Mr Dean.
“The rescue was a true team effort; the CFA, the Oscar-1 Emergency Response team and the local vet were incredible. There was a huge amount of precision required to lift Soxz to safety using the winches and crane, generally seen used in mine rescues.
“RSPCA Victoria is contributing to the cost of the rescue operation and is providing support to the owner by subsidising the cost of ongoing veterinary treatment to ensure Soxz makes a full recovery. As an Inspector, we see a lot of heartbreaking stories, but yesterday was a true good news story. It was an honour to reunite Soxz with his owner and know that he hasn’t suffered any lasting physical damage, despite a few cuts and bruises.