Pregnant Percheron Plucked from Pond

Firefighters in Johnson Creek, Wis., rescued a pregnant horse from an icy pond after it escaped from its nearby pen.

The 7-year-old black Percheron draft horse, named Katie, is expected to make a full recovery after being in the cold water for about 90 minutes. Vets were going to assess her foal's health again Wednesday, according to Tim Whitham, chief of the Johnson Creek Fire and EMS Department.

A grandson alerted his grandmother that one of their horses was in the pond in the Town of Watertown, and they called authorities shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, Whitham said.

Fire fighters arrived about seven minutes later, put a rope on the horse's bridle and tried to walk the 2,000-pound horse to shore, he said. About 75% of the pond had 14 to 16 inches of it ice on it, so rescuers used axes and sledgehammers to break it up, Whitham said.

When they coaxed the animal out of the water, with a little help from ropes on the halter and the hind end, her core temperature was about 3° cooler than normal, he said.

Whitham suspected the animal hadn't been in the water long when firefighters arrived.

"There was still a lot of fight when we got in there," he said.

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The Associated Press

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