Taking A Dip in the Pool?


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It is a common technical equine rescue for many communities–to find a horse trapped in a pool in someone’s backyard, and have to figure out a way to rescue it.

See just a couple of examples pulled from the headlines:

All kinds of animals end up in pools. Dogs, frogs, horses, even a loose bison in north Georgia. (Can you imagine coming home from work to hearing a bison splashing around under the pool cover in your back yard? Can you imagine the 911 dispatcher’s disbelief when that call came in?)

The first problem with pools are that they are essentially a trap with steep sides that prevent the animal from being able to walk up a ramp or jump out. Animals may be thirsty, they may be curious or playful, or they may be running and not recognize it as an obstacle–we aren’t sure why animals seem to be so attracted to pools. Many people have fences around pools to keep children out, or insurance requires that you fence off the pool. But gates can be left open. Animals can jump low fences or just come over to graze on your lawn. Prevention is the key to keep them out of the pool; but when it happens we need to have a plan for what to do from there

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Written by:

Rebecca Gimenez Husted, BS, PhD, is the primary instructor and president of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. Her first book, Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, was published in 2008. She is an internationally sought instructor in technical rescue techniques, procedures, and methodologies, and she has published numerous critiques, articles and journal submissions on horse safety, technical large animal rescue and horse handling issues.

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