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VIDEO: Horse Rescued After Falling Into Backyard Pool In Sonoma County

PENNGROVE (CBS SF) -- A horse that fell inside a chilly pool at a Sonoma County home was rescued this morning by crews using power tools to cut a path for it after it was not able to get itself out.

Penngrove resident and the horse's owner, Kery Poteracke, said she awoke to the sound of her 24-year-old horse, Spirit, falling onto the covered pool, which didn't sustain its weight. Spirit had apparently dislodged the lock on her corral and walked onto the pool cover.

"I was just laying in bed and I heard a big thud and then the dog started barking, and when I went to the thing she was laying on top of the pool cover. And within a couple of minutes she'd torn the pool cover and was standing in the pool," said Poteracke. "We tried to pull her out, you know, get her to jump up on the edge, but she just wouldn't."

Horse rescue
A firefighter holds onto a horse which had become stuck inside a pool in Penngrove, March 2, 2020. (CBS)

Poteracke summoned her son and daughter-in-law to help her try and pull the horse out but they eventually gave up and called 911. Responding firefighters assessed the situation and ran through the options with Poteracke.

"They asked if I wanted to have a crane come in and I said, well, my husband doesn't want the pool so I guess you can cut it apart," she said.

Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Andy Taylor said the rescue involved slicing through the deck of the partially above-ground pool, laying down some large paving stones to allow the mare, with a little coaxing, to step up and out of the pool.

Raw Video: Raw Video: Horse Stuck In Pool In Sonoma County Rescued

"What we were able to do was remove the deck and the doughboy pool sides, lower the water level and build a bridge, or build a staircase and walk the horse out," said Taylor.

Firefighters were concerned over the time both the horse and the owner had spent inside the unheated pool in chilly morning weather.

"When we first arrived the horse owner was in the water. She had been there for a while, she was shivering," said Taylor. "We got her out ... she was replaced with a firefighter and we were able to, you know, we were worried about hypothermia on everybody, especially the animal for the time she was in there."

For her part, the owner took the incident in stride.

"They cut the side of the pool, which, now I don't have pool anymore, but, I've got a horse that's not hurt. So I thank them all so much for everything they did. It was just wonderful," said Poteracke, who said her husband finally has the excuse he's been looking for to get rid of the pool.

Poteracke also noted her dog recently had surgery after swallowing rocks, with the bill coming to about $5,000.

"So we've had a couple of real fun months here with our two animals that we own," she said.

The horse sustained some minor cuts and scrapes during the efforts but was otherwise okay following the incident.


Don Ford contributed to this report.


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