Caniaba resident Dennis O'Connor and Pixie the 7yr old mare rescued Tuesday evening after she had fallen in a septic tank.
Caniaba resident Dennis O'Connor and Pixie the 7yr old mare rescued Tuesday evening after she had fallen in a septic tank. Jacklyn Wagner

How Max the dog saved Pixie the horse

PIXIE the six-year-old mare was recovering yesterday after Police Rescue and Lismore City Council officers rescued the distressed horse from a septic tank late on Tuesday.

Leigh O'Connor, whose husband Dennis owns Pixie, said she was alerted to the horse's plight when she returned to her Caniaba home on Tuesday afternoon and one of her dogs, Max, wouldn't stop barking.

"I went outside and I couldn't see anything and when the dog wouldn't stop barking I went outside again and here was this horse's head popping out of the septic tank covered in you know what," she said.

"Then she disappeared and I thought she was gone but then she popped her head up again."

Leigh O'Connor pictured with Max the dog who alerted the family to the plight of the horse.
Leigh O'Connor pictured with Max the dog who alerted the family to the plight of the horse. Jacklyn Wagner

Mrs O'Connor said she called police and the rescue unit arrived soon after.

Realising the magnitude of the rescue, Police Rescue called council about 4pm and arranged for a sewage pumper truck and a small crane to go to the Caniaba Rd property to assist.

"As they pumped the sewage out they were hosing her off because they thought the sewage might have been holding her up and she might have collapsed," Mrs O'Connor said.

"Then they got the council crane in … and lifted Pixie out.

"It put as little stress as possible on Pixie. It was absolutely amazing how they managed and handled the whole situation."

"After Pixie was lifted out of the septic tank, Mrs O'Connor said she lay on the ground for a couple of minutes eating grass before she got up. We got the vet out because she was badly gashed and he cleaned her wounds.

"She is still not out of the woods because she could still get poisoning but at the moment she is happy and eating."

Lismore City Council Waste and Water Systems supervisor Matt Potter said it was one of the more unusual callouts council staff had received from Police Rescue.

"All the boys have been talking about it today - this is the first horse rescue we've ever done," Mr Potter said.



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