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DeKalb County Fire Rescue helps save elderly horse

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DeKalb County Fire Rescue helps save elderly horse

Photo provided by Atlanta News First
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By Joshua Skinner, contributor 

DEKALB COUNTY, GA (Atlanta News First) — DeKalb County Fire Rescue got an unusual call to help save a life over the weekend.

The call wasn’t about helping a person but a horse.

The horse in question, Sugarfoot, lives at Little Creek Farms and Park, where his owner, Elizabeth Yates, spoils him with love and snacks.

“He’s always been there for me, so I try to take good care of him,” Yates said.

But at 32 years old, it’s not always easy for Sugarfoot to be spunky. So, when people noticed Sugarfoot lying down in his stall on Saturday, unable to get up, worry set in.

“We tried for hours to get him up,” Yates said. “He just wasn’t able to. He was too weak.”

If a horse lies down for too long, it can cause life-threatening damage to organs and muscles. Their large bodies can’t bear their weight without standing for significant amounts of time. Blood flow is affected throughout the body, causing damage.

So, Little Creek Farms called DeKalb County Fire Rescue.

“This was an original one,” said Capt. Andy Rivero. “It’s the first time we’ve ever had to lift a horse up.”

Rivero is part of DeKalb County’s Technical Rescue Team, which has unique training in lifting heavy objects. Sugarfoot, at 800 lbs, qualifies.

“So, any obstacle you can give us, we can lift that,” he said.

Over the next hour, the team concocted a pully system to lift Sugarfoot back on his feet, saving his life.

“I need to write, like, a million thank-you notes to them,” Yates said.

Now, Sugarfoot is back in the pasture, chewing grass and taking in the sun.

“He seems pretty spunky,” Yates added.

All thanks to DeKalb County Fire Rescue.

“I think we can get a horse up anytime, yeah,” Rivero said. “No horsin’ around.”

Decaturish media partner Atlanta News First provided this story.