Scott County firefighters rescued two horses that wandered onto an ice-covered pond Tuesday and then broke through the ice.
Jim Kanavy, assistant chief of the Scott County Fire Department, said the horses were in the middle of the pond with only their heads above water when firefighters arrived.
Firefighters used a chain saw to cut a path through the ice, then they waded to the horses and helped them walk to the banks, Kanavy said.
The horses were weak from being in the icy water, fireighters said. The animals were in the water about 20 minutes, they said.
"They had ice on their heads," Kanavy said. "We moved them into a barn and used some heaters to warm them up for about two hours."
Kanavy said firefighters were dispatched to Gunnell Road just after 11 a.m. Tuesday.
A man and his daughter who live on the property noticed that the horses were in the pond, but the man was unable to get them out, Kanavy said.
He estimated that ice on the pond was two to three inches thick — enough to support firefighters but not horses.
"We think that when the horses got to the middle of the pond, the ice was too thin and they just broke through," he said.
Kanavy said a veterinarian who checked the horses found that their body temperature was only about 89 degrees when they were removed from the pond. After some warming, their temperature was up to near normal, he said.
"They seem to be OK, so things turned out fine," Kanavy said.