Officers rescue pregnant horse from drainage ditch

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KIRKLAND — On a hot and humid Fourth of July, two members of the Kirkland Police Department fulfilled their duty to serve by helping save a pregnant horse from a drainage ditch, according to law enforcement officials.

Veteran officer Shawn Occhipinti and rookie Joseph Scarafile were dispatched to 6995 Reservoir Road at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday for a report of a horse that had gotten stuck in a drainage ditch on a farm, according to Kirkland Police Chief Daniel English. With all other animal rescue groups off for the holiday, English said his two officers went out to help.

“Especially with the heat, we didn’t want to leave it down there,” English said this morning. Temperatures broke 90 degrees on Thursday.

Once on scene, the officers were told by the owner that the horse was also pregnant, and therefore needed to be handled with extra care. The animal’s owner had been unable to get the horse out of the ditch on their own, prompting the call for help to 9-1-1.

English said Officer Occhipinti took the horse’s lead and “basically coaxed the animal up out of the drainage ditch”, with assistance from Officer Scarafile and the owner. The chief said the horse “was up and walking” once it was out of the ditch, though there was some concern about a possible leg injury.

The rescue took about half an hour, English stated.

“This is not your routine police job,” English joked. He said the officers were prepared to call the Clinton Fire Department had they needed extra help, but the horse climbed out before they needed to escalate the rescue.

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