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Firefighters credited with saving Hancock County horse

Sugar Creek Township and Buck Creek Township fire departments worked together to lift the horse out of a creek.

GREENFIELD, Ind. — Tuesday started rough for Lola, a Tennessee Walking Horse mare in her late 20s living in Hancock County.

When all the other horses came up for breakfast from their Greenfield pasture, Lola was not with them.

A quick search found she had fallen in a creek, was stuck, and was exhausted from straining to keep her head above water. When she was found, temperatures were in the low 30s, and the water she was in was frigid.

Sugar Creek Township and Buck Creek Township fire departments responded and quickly went to work. Using a backhoe, they placed straps under Lola and were able to lift her out of the water and to dry land.  

After about 10 minutes, Lola began standing on her own and eating some hay.

Natalie Skillman, veterinarian and owner of Skillman Veterinary Services, said the 24 hours after are critical for Lola and asked people to keep their fingers crossed for a smooth recovery.

Skillman posted about the experience on Facebook and thanked the firefighters for helping save Lola.

Wow, what a day! A huge shout out to the Sugar Creek Township Fire Dept AND the Buck Creek Township Fire Dept for...

Posted by Skillman Veterinary Services on Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Jennifer Cross, Lola's owner, commented on Skillman's post about the incident, thanking everyone involved for saving Lola. 

"Words cannot describe the gratitude I feel toward all the wonderful and skilled people who participated in the rescue of my beloved Lola," Cross said. "Pulling her from that shallow, watery grave and offering her warmth, comfort and expert treatment, could only be accomplished by a team of amazing and compassionate (and strong!) individuals. The world needs more people like them."

Cross said 24 hours later, Lola is eating, drinking and moving around her stall without difficulty.