A freak accident involving a horseshoe prompted the fire department in Denver, N.C., to try a novel means of saving a horse named Jitterbug.
The Denver Fire Department in Lincoln County used a hydraulic rescue tool – created to free people from wrecks – to pry off a horse shoe that had become bizarrely embedded in Jitterbug’s right foot and leg. Sort of like a hook.
It happened June 15 and photos of the procedure were posted the fire department’s Facebook.
The Denver Weekly reports the rescue began when firefighters got a call from Lyn Caldwell, asking to borrow a large pair of bolt cutters to remove a horseshoe. Caldwell told the newspaper her best explanation for what may have happened is that the horse overstepped and tripped.
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“We figured out quickly that the bolt cutters weren’t going to touch that horseshoe so we called for the heavy rescue truck,” Denver Fire Department Chief James Flynn told the Union Weekly. “We just revert back to our technical rescue training in dealing with humans and try to apply the situation to the horse.”
Once the shoe was off, the owners immediately took Jitterbug to a veterinarian for care, the department reported on Facebook.
“Well just left our boy at NCSU Vet hospital. Please pray,” the owner posted in a Facebook update. “He's in a lot of pain and very uncomfortable at the time. Possible surgery tomorrow if things don’t change for the better. Long road ahead of him that's for sure. He has a lot going on. All we can do is pray.”
Caldwell has lived on a 5-acre farm in Denver for eight years. She does barrel racing with Jitterbug and trains and breaks colts, the Denver Weekly reported. “Everyone here knows Jitterbug,” she told the newspaper. “He is my world.”