SPENCER TWP. — For the second time in five days, a Medina County horse has died after being trapped in a muddy pond.
The 2,000-pound draft horse became stuck in a Spencer Township pond on Monday and spent more than 12 hours in quicksand-like mud despite strenuous efforts by relatives of the owner and members of the Spencer Fire District and county animal rescue workers.
The horse, named Sunny, was pulled free, but was not able to stand or put weight on her right leg, said Stephanie Moore, executive director of the Medina County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The horse was euthanized Tuesday, she said.
“It’s so frustrating,” Moore said. “You try so hard to save them.”
The owner of the horse, who asked that he not be identified, said he raised Sunny from a baby. The horse was 17 years old.
Moore said Sunny’s owner discovered the horse missing from the barn shortly after 9 a.m. Monday.
In the earlier incident Saturday, a 1,500-pound, 7-year-old draft horse died after being stuck in a muddy pond in Homer Township for several hours.
Moore blamed dry summer conditions for the deaths.
She said that because ponds are drying up, horses wander out away from the dry shore and deeper into the mud.
“Anytime you have a water source and it dries up and animals are used to going to the area and it’s not there anymore, it’s difficult for them,” she said.
These kinds of deaths are a rare occurrence in the nation, said a horse specialist from the U.S. Humane Society.
“We do not get many calls on this, so I don’t think it’s something that is extremely prevalent,” said Valerie Pringle, U.S. Human Society equine protection specialist.
Moore said she thought these incidents are happening more frequently, but may not always be reported.
She said there are steps rural property owners can take to prevent animals from becoming trapped.
“Make sure you don’t have any recessed ponds that are dried up; and if you do, make sure you block them off so they can’t get in there,” she said.
Moore also said she recommended that livestock owners keep track of their animals by counting them in the morning and at night.
Contact Michelle Sprehe at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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