Friday, 18 November 2011


We have a new emergency number in the Netherlands: 144 to save an animal. If, for example, you see a horse in a ditch, you can phone them and they will put you through to the emergency service needed.

So, when I saw a horse in a ditch, I phoned 144 and was put through to the police. I told them where I had seen the horse in the ditch and that I didn't think it would be possible for the horse to get out of said ditch by itself, since the banks were too high. Fortunately I wasn't the only one who had phoned in and I hung up, relieved something was going to be done to this poor horse.

When I got back at night I wondered what had happened to the horse and after a bit of searching I finally found it. Now, I phoned at 11.15am or thereabouts and somebody else had already reported it before me. The fire department got notified at a little before midday! Anyway, the fire department made their way over to the horse, where a car rescue service and highway patrol were already on site. The fire department tried to put a harness on the horse, but that didn't go as smoothly as they had hoped.

Then the owner of the horse arrived and told the fire department that he didn't need help, he could do it himself. First he used a rope to get the horse closer to the field, then the harness was put over the head and using a tractor, the horse was pulled into the field. However, the horse was quite dizzy and actually fell back into the ditch! So, the farmer tried again and this time he was successful! The fire department did not assist and distanced itself from the method used by the farmer.

If you click on this link, you can see the photos that were taken.


  1. Oh my that is kind of sad how the owner handled him. Glad he is safe and so nice of you to call.

  2. You didn't say that the ditch was full of water! (I went to take a look at the photos). Poor thing. It must have been frozen! So glad you called for help, but doesn't seem like they were help. Still the emergency hep number seems like a good idea.

  3. Yes, the number sounds like a good idea, but I'm not impressed by the tractor business. Poor horse.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. At least the horse was saved ! horrible pictures, poor thing ! Hope it didn't get a cold, that would be the end !

  5. Huh, I didn't know about the 144 number. Gosh, you learn something every day. I hope I won't find a horse in a ditch or any other animal in need, but if I do, I'll phone the 144 number and hope they react better than they did at your call. Good of you to call them anyway. Poor horse. It must have been so cold.


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!