A frozen pond in Elma, New York, became the stage for an intense rescue scene last month when two horses found themselves trapped in icy waters with nowhere to escape to. Three fire companies gathered together to help the animals, who would certainly not have made it if it weren't for the emergency intervention. The moment was caught on camera by several people, as both pictures and a video of the event made their way online and quickly went viral.
While it may seem like horses would not be that difficult to coax out of a frozen pond, the amount of effort it required completely justified the number of people present on the scene. WKBW says over 30 firefighters were involved, in addition to a veterinarian from the SPCA who was helping them deal with the animals.
"They were getting weaker and weaker, and we could see there wasn't much time," Blossom Fire Company Chief Mark Schaefer told WKBW. The race to save the horses became that much more desperate when it became clear they may not survive for much longer.
"We just swung those axes until we broke a channel through the ice. And then with a little bit of, you know, helping them along with the harnesses, we were able to convince them to come out of the water."
"You couldn't look in the eyes of the horses, and not just keep plugging along to get them out," Schaefer said. The moment is even more inspiring when it's revealed that they were all volunteers, that no one was required to be there in the first place.
The two horses were reportedly doing well when the fire companies left the scene, Schaefer told WKBW. Watch the video below for a better look at the rescue and its outcome – and share this story if it warmed your heart.