MOSCOW, Ohio -- A veterinarian and members of a rural southwest Ohio community lost a day-long battle Thursday to save the life of a 17-year-old horse that spent several hours trapped up to its neck in a pit of mud and snow.
Dolly, a Percheron, was euthanized about 2:30 p.m. after repeated attempts over a 12-hour period to get the horse up on her feet, according to Kelly Liming, DDM, with Rolling Hills Veterinary Service LLC.
The horse's owners, Greg and Susan Reid, called Washington Township fire crews to their home in the 1900 block of Neville Spur Road early Thursday morning to help lift Dolly out of the hole she was trapped for up to nine hours. It took several hours to free the 2,000-pound animal from the sloppy mess of dirt, mud and snow in Moscow, Ohio.
The Reids, who say they had Dolly for eight years, told police they last saw the horse about 3 p.m. Wednesday. Officials believe she became entrapped in a pit on the far end of the couple's property at approximately 6 p.m.
Members of the community spent half of the day Thursday trying to get Dolly to stand up because lying down causes a horse's muscles to tighten up and their kidneys to shut down. Part of the problem stemmed from a fear that the horse went into shock.
Liming said the reason Dolly couldn't bring herself to her feet is attributed to muscle exhaustion.
He likened it to a much more extreme version of a person sitting in a movie theater for two hours and having their legs fall asleep.
While their efforts couldn't save Dolly, several of the neighbors who came out to rescue her say their actions are a testament to the strength and family-like sensibility shared by the few hundred members of the community.
"If somebody needs help everybody can't afford all the equipment that they need for doing what they do. One person has a tractor, loader or a manure spreader, hay baler, they work it out with each other and one does one for another," said a man who referred to himself as "Hopper."
"We just help each other everybody comes together and gets the job done."