YARMOUTH (WGME) — A horse owner had to put her beloved pet of more than 20 years down after the animal got stuck in the mud overnight in a marsh off the Cousins River.
Mary Towle said fireworks are to blame.
“You feel really helpless. There was nothing I could do,” said Towle, who had owned her horse, Sonic, for 21 years.
“So giving him care was a big part of my day,” she said.
Towle said fireworks on the Fourth of July spooked Sonic, who then ran away.
“I heard a couple of fireworks and when I got close to the bar, I realized that he was at that point charging back and forth,” she said.
Towle woke up to an empty barn.
“Things that I’d rather forget but I doubt I ever will,” she said.
People driving on Interstate 295 saw Sonic stuck in the marsh and called the fire department.
“It certainly was an emotional call,” said Yarmouth Deputy Fire Chief Dan Masselli.
A total of 15 people, including veterinarians and bystanders, tried to get the 800-pound horse to his feet but in the end, he had to be euthanized.
“I was committed to keep him going until he passed away naturally but I had no idea that it would come this way,” Towle said.
“I hope she can find solace in knowing that we tried our best,” Masselli said.
The town of Yarmouth has an ordinance against setting off fireworks and a fine of up to $200.
“But we haven’t been able to pinpoint where they are or who’s releasing the fireworks,” Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Keith said.
“I just think people should give some thought to what the consequences of their actions are,” he said.
The code enforcement officer is asking people to be aware of their surroundings and to report any sightings of fireworks to the town office immediately.