Family grateful to fire crews, horse rescue group who saved horse stuck in mud

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A Howard County family is grateful their horse is alive after it got stuck in the mud last week. Efforts by the fire department and a horse rescue organization saved his life.Hershey loves his morning breakfast routine at his Marriottsville farm with his pals, especially getting treats. His family is just happy to have him healthy, considering everything he went through last week. “I was terrified,” said Harley Michaud, Hershey’s owner.It’s not uncommon for horses to get stuck in the mud, but Hershey got really stuck.”It was so wet and muddy, and he slipped and fell going into the barn,” Michaud said.It quickly became a life-threatening situation because of his age — about 37 years old — the length of time he was down during the rescue, and because of the cold.”He was stuck there, had just given up. He didn’t want to get up. He wasn’t even trying,” said Dave Michaud, Hershey’s owner.”I called 12 different vets, nobody would come out,” Harley Michaud said.The family called the fire department, and they knew exactly who to call: Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue in Mount Airy.”They had all their equipment,” Harley Michaud said.Last year, Gentle Giants launched a fully mobile technical large animal emergency response team that can help in a variety of situations.”From horses trapped in mud, horses who might be in a building collapse, trailer accidents, barn fires, anything that a large animal can get himself into trouble with,” said Christine Hajek, executive director and founder of Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue.They were able to lift Hershey out of the mud safely and pull him through the yard on a sled to get to solid ground.”The rescue sled is helpful in lots of situations. It allows us to put a horse on the skid and be able to move a 1,000- or 2,000-pound animal with just a couple of people,” Hajek said.”They really saved the day,” Dave Michaud said. “Just the way everyone came together and worked together, it was really amazing,” Harley Michaud said.Hershey went from not doing so well at all to now doing just fine, and the family is grateful.”Their work and dedication and their love, it just really showed me that night,” Harley Michaud said.Gentle Giants is only able to respond within a two-hour radius of their Mount Airy location, but they are hoping to be able to expand.

A Howard County family is grateful their horse is alive after it got stuck in the mud last week. Efforts by the fire department and a horse rescue organization saved his life.

Hershey loves his morning breakfast routine at his Marriottsville farm with his pals, especially getting treats. His family is just happy to have him healthy, considering everything he went through last week.

“I was terrified,” said Harley Michaud, Hershey’s owner.

It’s not uncommon for horses to get stuck in the mud, but Hershey got really stuck.

“It was so wet and muddy, and he slipped and fell going into the barn,” Michaud said.

It quickly became a life-threatening situation because of his age — about 37 years old — the length of time he was down during the rescue, and because of the cold.

“He was stuck there, had just given up. He didn’t want to get up. He wasn’t even trying,” said Dave Michaud, Hershey’s owner.

“I called 12 different vets, nobody would come out,” Harley Michaud said.

The family called the fire department, and they knew exactly who to call: Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue in Mount Airy.

“They had all their equipment,” Harley Michaud said.

Last year, Gentle Giants launched a fully mobile technical large animal emergency response team that can help in a variety of situations.

“From horses trapped in mud, horses who might be in a building collapse, trailer accidents, barn fires, anything that a large animal can get himself into trouble with,” said Christine Hajek, executive director and founder of Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue.

They were able to lift Hershey out of the mud safely and pull him through the yard on a sled to get to solid ground.

“The rescue sled is helpful in lots of situations. It allows us to put a horse on the skid and be able to move a 1,000- or 2,000-pound animal with just a couple of people,” Hajek said.

“They really saved the day,” Dave Michaud said.

“Just the way everyone came together and worked together, it was really amazing,” Harley Michaud said.

Hershey went from not doing so well at all to now doing just fine, and the family is grateful.

“Their work and dedication and their love, it just really showed me that night,” Harley Michaud said.

Gentle Giants is only able to respond within a two-hour radius of their Mount Airy location, but they are hoping to be able to expand.

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