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Horse dies after falling into old septic tank

CASCO TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Several crews worked to rescue a horse early Monday morning that had fallen into a hole in Van Buren County.

The incident happened in Casco Township near South Haven at about 4:00 a.m.

Firefighters arrived and found that a 32-year-old Arabian horse had fallen into an old septic tank access hole and was trapped up to its neck. Crews dug around the tank and found a cement collar was trapping the horse and keeping it from moving.

Crews spent nearly two hours removing the horse from the tank and another 90 minutes warming and drying the animal. A veterinarian was called and, after about three more hours of observation, determined the horse’s heart was too weak to survive.  The horse, named Tea Cup, was put to sleep.

The homeowners are new to the property and told responders they did not know of the septic tank in the area. They also said other animals, including a dog and a donkey, started making noise when Tea Cup fell in the hole, apparently to alert them.

The City of South Haven sent a backhoe to assist South Haven Area Emergency Services in the rescue. Harbor Towing also assisted.

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