Horse rescued after falling in swimming pool

Good News

A couple in Roanoke is thanking members of the Roanoke Police Department who helped rescue their horse after she fell in a backyard swimming pool. 

Dawn Sullivan said her horses Baby and Maggie, both seven years old, do everything together. And sometimes, Sullivan added, that includes a bit of mischief.

“If Baby gets out, which is the usually the one that does, [Maggie will] follow pretty much right behind her,” she explained. 

Sullivan and her husband Roger Spradlin rescued Baby and Maggie about a year ago. Every now and then, the pair somehow escapes their enclosure, Sullivan said. but they had not gone near the swimming pool, which is as deep as eight feet, until Wednesday.

“Normally the cover was not on the pool, so she would see the water and stay away from it,” Sullivan said. 

Baby wandered onto the pool cover, and that’s when she heard a loud splash coming from the backyard, she said.

“Normally my St. Bernard will be in the pool, but I was like, ‘That is louder than normal,'” Sullivan said. 

Once Baby fell into the pool through the pool cover, she was tangled in the tarp. Sullivan said she held Baby’s head above water as they waited for help to arrive.

“I probably held her in my arms for about an hour, 45 minutes to an hour, just holding her head above water,” she said. 

Animal wardens from the Roanoke Police Department untangled Baby from the pool cover and helped her walk up the pool steps to safety, Sullivan said. Baby has been checked by a vet, who has given her a clean bill of health, she added. 

“Her eyes did start to roll back in her head a couple of times…and she was shaking real bad where the water was so cold, but she’s made it and been great,” Sullivan said. 

Sullivan said she and her husband have not figured out how the pair get out of their enclosure. They will be moving soon, and Spradlin said an end to the mischief may be in sight – he plans to add electric fencing on top of the wooden fence to make sure the horses do not escape.

“When they do hit it, they know not to mess with it, so that’s probably what we’re going to do at the new house – is put the electric fence back up,” Spradlin said. 

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