Team effort rescues horse in Anderson County (TN)

NBC Affiliate, WBIR-TV, Knoxville,Tennessee (7 July 2008)

Horses and a highway don’t mix, as two animals found out Monday near Dossett in Anderson County.

When it was all over, a horse named “Melissa” by her rescuers checked out the barn at Horse Haven of Tennessee, as Veterinarian Gretchen Laws checked the horse out.

“I expect she’ll be pretty sore over the next day or so, so we’ll give definitely give her some pain meds and make her feel better in that respect,” Laws said.

About 7 a.m. an Anderson County Sheriff’s deputy called the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Horse Haven of Tennessee for assistance.

One horse had been hit and killed on Highway 61. The driver who hit the horse was not hurt. Another horse had fallen down an embankment.

“Gotten herself tangled up in a large tree root,” explained Nina Margetson, Executive Director of Horse Haven of Tennessee.

She recorded the rescue effort with her digital camera. Margetson said deputies and TDOT workers used chains and a back hoe and a lot of patience to snap the tree root and free the frightened horse.

Her voice is audible on the videotape, comforting the animal as they work.

“Easy girl. That back leg is what I’m worried about. Easy girl. Easy girl.”

Margetson said the rescue was a team effort.

“Everybody out there, they were all super with her,” she said. “They took their time, and it was so sweet to see these big strong men being so nice and calm to this little horse, trying to keep her quiet. It was really nice.”

The bay mare is about 25 years old and may be pregnant.

“She looks to be in decent health,” said Laws. “She’s a little bit underweight but not too bad.”

The horse is eating hay and seemed calm yet alert Monday.

“Our main concern is we find out who her owner is so we can get her back to them,” said Margetson. “Or if she doesn’t have an owner, we want to make sure we care for her until we find out where we go from here.”

For now, Melissa has a temporary home at Horse Haven of Tennessee.

See video at WBIR

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