Firefighters, animal control officers rescue horse stuck in trailer

Oak Ridge Animal Control Officers Rescue Horse

Oak Ridge firefighters and police and animal control officers rescue a horse stuck in a trailer near Oak Ridge Turnpike and Louisiana Avenue on Wednesday afternoon. Pictured above helping the horse out of the trailer is Oak Ridge Animal Control Officer Randy Proffitt.

Oak Ridge firefighters and animal control officers rescued a horse stuck in a trailer with its hoof above its head near Oak Ridge Turnpike and Louisiana Avenue on Wednesday afternoon.

The horse was being hauled from Anderson County to Second Chance Youth Ranch in Sweetwater when it apparently put at least one hoof up on a hay loft inside the trailer and then broke through the loft, getting stuck, with its hoof stuck in the hole.

Mary Braswell was driving near the trailer at about 2:24 p.m. Wednesday. At first, she and her passenger Megan Baker thought the horse, which was moving around, was a colt because it looked small.

Oak Ridge Animal Control Officers Examine Horse

Oak Ridge Animal Shelter Supervisor Julie Armes, center, examines a quarter horse that had been stuck in a horse trailer Wednesday afternoon. Behind Armes is Animal Control Officer Sara Walter, and at left is the horse’s owner Boone Hackney of Sweetwater.

But then, Baker said, she saw a head, and she saw a hoof.

She and Braswell realized the horse had fallen, and they immediately alerted the animal’s owner, Boone Hackney of Sweetwater, who pulled over behind the United Grocery Outlet. They also called 911.

Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley said the horse was on its left side under steel bars inside the trailer when firefighters arrived. Its hoof was stuck in the loft.

“It was kind of hanging there by its hoof,” Kerley said.

An ORFD report said the horse had lacerations on its nose and two legs, and it was struggling to get up when firefighters arrived.

Oak Ridge Firefighters Rescue Horse

Oak Ridge firefighters use “jaws” to cut a stall divider bar in a trailer where a horse is stuck. (Photo by ORFD Captain Richard Kaylor)

Firefighters used tools, including “jaws,” to remove steel from around the horse’s hoof and cut out the steel bars, which divided the horse trailer into two stalls.

“We kind of peeled everything away from it,” Kerley said.

Dr. Butler Examines Rescued Horse

Veterinarian Nathan Butler of Karns Animal Clinic examines the horse. It had a sprained leg and needed some stitches, medicine, and rest. Also pictured are Walter, second from right, and Armes, partially obscured.

Oak Ridge Police Department animal control officers and veterinarian Nathan Butler of Karns Animal Clinic also responded.

They determined that the horse, a quarter horse about eight years old, had sprained its right front leg.

Hackney said Butler stitched the horse’s nose and leg, and the animal now needs rest and medicine.

She was loaded into a new trailer and brought to Sweetwater.

“She should be all right in a couple of weeks,” Hackney said.

Oak Ridge Firefighter with Rescued Horse

Oak Ridge Fire Department firefighter T.J. Giles gives water to a horse rescued from a trailer after its hoof became stuck near Oak Ridge Turnpike and Louisiana Avenue.

Hackney said the horse, which had been given to him in Anderson County, would be used at Second Chance Youth Ranch, a church ministry that teaches children to ride horses at no charge.

Note: This story has been updated to correct the veterinarian’s name and clinic. We apologize for the error.



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  • Kay Williamson

    WTG, JULIE AND RANDY, and thank you to the fire department for being such great people,, your all the BOMBS IN MY BOOK!!! And what a really great story JOHN,,,,, GOOD THINGS AND COMMUNITY WORKING TOGETHER……

    • John Huotari

      Thank you, Kay.

  • Ron Melancon

    Every horse trailer has defects. We have been addressing for over 13 years now dangerous trailers DOT org

  • Dan

    This horse was going to a really good, Christian ministry in Roane County. They give riding lessons to kids, take them to a local horse show, and teach the kids Bible lessons. All absolutely free of charge. You can check the ministry out on Facebook.

    • John Huotari

      Thanks for letting us know.

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