Marion Fire Department rescues horse, mule from mud

Aug 17, 2020

MARION — The Marion Fire Department and Animal Control Officer were successfully able to rescue a horse and mule that were stuck in the mud late on Sunday, Aug. 16. 

Police received a call that a mule, Girlie, and a horse, Tick, were stuck neck-deep in mud at Merrow Farm on Converse Road at about 5 p.m. 

The horse and mule got out from an area with a barbed wire fence, but Fire Chief Brian Jackvony said they did not show any signs of cuts or harm from the barbed wire, which lead the crew to think the fence must have been down before the animals wandered away. 

They headed toward an old watering hole area, and got so mired down in the mud there that they were having difficulty breathing. Firefighters, Animal Control Officer Susan Connor and the animals’ owners immediately started digging as much mud as possible out from around the animals to help them breathe.

But getting them out without injuring them would require expert advice from Connor and Marion’s Washburn Stables, as well as the use of the Fire Department’s brush breaker, and a backhoe outfitted with a number of pulleys, straps and a sling.

By the time the animals were removed from the mud, three hours later, a veterinarian was on scene to evaluate them after they were rescued. 

The Plymouth County Large Animal Rescue Team also arrived on scene late in the rescue process, when darkness approached and Jackvony thought extra help might be wise. But the original crew of 14 firefighters, employees from Washburn stable and backhoe operator Sherman Briggs were able to get the animals out before they arrived. 

The fire department also had portable, battery powered lights, in the event that the effort continued after dusk. 

"We are pleased to report that both animals are recovering and doing well at this time," Marion Fire Chief Brian Jackvony said. "I'd like to commend all members of the department who worked in this effort to save them. I'd also like to thank Plymouth County Tech Rescue and Mattapoisett Fire for their assistance. All parties worked cohesively for a positive outcome."