An Okanagan woman is forever grateful after the Willowbrook Volunteer Fire Department rescued her horse, Lulu.
At 8:44 a.m. on Feb. 1, the woman thought she’d never see Lulu live again but by 10 a.m., the 18-year old horse was able to get to her feet after what was described as a “near-death experience.”
“On Tuesday morning, I came out to feed her and she was almost lifeless and trapped in between the barn, the hay feeder, the fence and the post,” the owner recalled. “She couldn’t lift her head up.”
The owner wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Lulu, even though she believed the horse’s life was over after seeing her trapped while laying down unusually.
“She was pretty much gone but I didn’t want to call the vet and put her down,” she said.
“I called the Willowbrook Volunteer Fire Department. Everybody knew (Lulu) probably wasn’t going to make it but they kept trying anyway.”
It took the department one hour to rescue the horse and firefighters had to overcome several hurdles.
“We had many concerns in attempting the rescue as there wasn’t much room to maneuver on the frozen ground,” said Fire Chief Tony Iannella. “But the team did a great job of removing some of the obstacles while minimizing the risks and ultimately, we were able to get (the horse) to her feet and walking around again.”
The owner said given the age of the horse, it’s “amazing that she was able to survive something like this.”
Iannella said it’s most likely the horse was trapped in between the barn and some fence posts for most of the night before they received the emergency call Tuesday morning.
“A great feeling for the crew to save a life that was so close to death,” he added.
The woman who resides near Willowbrook wants to honour the community’s fire department and ensure her neighbours know how heroic the rescue was.
Pictures were taken during the incident to honour the work of the department, she added.
“These volunteers have jobs, they have families and so many of them showed up and worked,” the owner stated. “Without them, (Lulu) never would have survived.”