Vigo County Sheriff’s Office
TERRE HAUTE — Vigo County Sheriff’s Deputy Steve Meng was dispatched to 13,000 block of S. U.S. 41 at 8:18 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, after homeowner Jack Harvey reported that a horse had fallen through his swimming pool cover and into the water-filled pool.
According to a Sheriff’s office release, no one knew for sure how long the horse had been in the cold water. The horse was straddling one of the pool cover straps that go across the pool in the deep end. The horse’s front legs were touching the bottom of the pool on the ramp section, but the rear legs were too far in the deep end. The horse was becoming very lethargic and shivering from the cold.
Deputy Meng asked for assistance from the Linton Township Fire Department. Sugar Creek Fire Department also was dispatched for their water and rope rescue capabilities. Deputy Meng also requested that a veterinarian be on standby.
The horse seemed to be going in and out of consciousness as her head was bobbing down against the pool cover, and her eyes were closing, the report states. She would then quickly jerk her head back up.
Deputy Meng felt that they couldn’t wait for additional help to arrive and needed to act immediately. Deputy Meng had Harvey bring his Jeep up to the pool’s edge as it was equipped with a winch. The hook on the winch was attached to the harness on the horse’s head, Harvey’s nephew, Cody Greenlee was ready with a knife to cut the pool cover. Deputy Meng held the winch cable in an attempt to guide the horse to the shallow end of the pool as Jack began to back the Jeep and Cody began to cut the pool cover all simultaneously. The horse initially fought the pull and began going under the water, then after a brief struggle, the horse was moved to the shallow end of the pool where she could stand. Blankets were retrieved from Harvey’s house and draped over the horse to keep her warm as she was shivering intensely.
Sheriff’s Deputy Bartlett, Conservation Officer Max Winchell, the Linton Township and Sugar Creek fire departments, members of the Vigo County Sheriff’s Posse, and veterinarian Dr. Holscher had all arrived. The only plausible way to get the horse out of the pool was to have her walk up the narrow steps in the shallow end.The first few attempts were unsuccessful, until Deputy Bartlett suggested putting a rope around the rear quarters of the horse and pulling the ropes from the front. The technique worked and the horse walked up the steps and out of the pool.
The horse was then moved inside to Harvey’s heated garage where Dr. Holscher treated her with several medications. The horse’s owner was located nearby and with the help of the Sheriff’s Posse, the horse was put into a trailer and returned home. Once back at home, the horse’s owner told deputies that the horse is blind.