Firefighters from the Goshen Rural Fire Protection District responded July 3 to find the horse Katie Sue trapped in an abandoned well.

"You always hear about firefighters rescuing cats from trees, and we have done that, but never a horse in a well," Denise Wolting with the Goshen Rural Fire Protection District said of the call Tuesday to help Katie Sue, a 27-year-old draft horse.

"The chief and I went out to the site just to investigate to make sure it was a real call," Wolting said. "When we got there it was horrifying what we saw.

"There was a horse in a well and it was only a 4-feet by 4-feet opening, so her head was sticking up and one shoulder and one leg," Wolting said. "It was so frightening. She was struggling a little bit and trying to get out, and no one knew how deep the well was at that point."

Firefighters from Goshen, Eugene, Pleasant Hill, Lowell and Dexter responded, as did veterinarians from Four Hoofs Veterinary Clinic.

"That first 20 minute period was really emotional, the horse was very exhausted," Wolting told KVAL News. "We thought she had been there for at least a few hours, and one of the neighbors came later in the evening and confirmed that he had seen her at around 5:30 in the field."

And even as the rescuers arrived and went to work devising a plan to free her, Katie Sue's history likely haunted the horse.

"She had been a rescued horse that had been abused in the past, and the big thing was she did not like men - and she was suddenly surrounded by a ton of them with helmets on and talking," Wolting said. "I'm sure she was terrified not only because of her situation but because of her past.

"Once the vet got on the scene, he started giving her medication right away, and then she looked more relaxed but still tense," Wolting said. "Throughout the evening they began to put something over her face, a jacket, so she couldn't see what was happening."

Firefighters toiled as darkness fell to keep the horse calm while excavating enough of the well to hoist her out.

"It just looked like an impossible situation to me," Wolting said. "I don't know how she got in there, and I don't know why she wasn't hurt more than she was."

Then it happened: with a neighbor's backhoe and a dozen firefighters, Katie Sue was free and back on solid ground just before 10:30 p.m.

VIDEO Firefighters RESCUE Horse from Well in Oregon

Responses to "Horse rescued from well: 'It just looked like an impossible situation'"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Firefighters are hero's in every sense of the word!!! Bless them and Katie Sue. For all the people with old well's on their property if they no longer serve a purpose Please cover them securely with steel. Wood rots and animals as well as children can get seriously injured as this video clearly shows. If your well is still of use Please put up at least a four foot stone wall around it to prevent accidents from happening... Have a heart, Play your part in keeping up safety precautions, Thank you :)

  2. There is still good in this world!

  3. Rebecca says:

    My heartfelt thanks to everyone who came together to rescue this poor animal, without you help she would not have made it. I hope the horse has a better impression of med now and has seen for herself that not all men are out to hurt her and cause her pain, Blessed Be to each and every one of you and your families and may the Lord watch over all of you as He does all of his creatures, great and small.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Big, big compliment! Great work done !! Hugs to you all.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Oh how wonderful that they were able to get her out and that she's alright. Firefighters are heros.

  6. WHAT A BEautiful moment!

  7. was that a strap or 5 " hose they used?

  8. Jennifer in australia says:

    wonderful job...everyone looked like they really cared and were as gentle as possible......Firefighters are amazing ......

  9. Anonymous says:

    Woo Hoo for this 27 year old drafthorse who was formerly abused. Never say, never! Bravo to all for taking positive action!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am so glad she was rescued.

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