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Parade horse injured on the way to inauguration festivities

January 20, 2009 |  8:29 pm

Kate Mitchell, of Lexington, Ky., holds

Fortunately for an appaloosa parade horse named Mouse, the Humane Society of the United States was on hand for the inauguration festivities in Washington today to provide assistance in the case of animal-related emergencies. 

On the way to the Inauguration Day parade, Mouse backed into a heavy-duty truck. When responders arrived at the scene, "Mouse was lying on the ground with his hindquarters suspended in the air and his rear leg caught in the front grill," says the HSUS.

Lt. Colonel John Stott of the U.S. Army Veterinary Services and others worked to stabilize Mouse before he could be transported by ambulance to the Prince George's County Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Md.

Scotlund Haisley, senior director of Emergency Services at the HSUS, said: "When the HSUS first came upon the scene, things were looking dire for Mouse. I did not think he would survive....Twelve men and women labored for nearly two hours to untangle Mouse's leg so that he could be transported for further treatment." 

PETA released the following statement about the horse's close call:

It's a shame that on a day when our nation is full of hope, Mouse was severely injured in a preventable accident. Horses are easily frightened and have no place amidst traffic and throngs of people. Subjecting these sensitive animals to the chaos of the inauguration is highly stressful, and as witnessed today, dangerous for them and for onlookers. We wish Mouse a speedy recovery and hope the Inaugural Committee will leave all animals out of future ceremonies.

Mouse is expected to recover from his injuries. 

Another parade horse named Showtime was treated for gastric distress, but recovered in time to participate in the parade. Showtime, an appaloosa-Palomino cross, is the only horse to have participated in inaugural parades for both Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Correction: We originally stated that "Mouse was hit by a heavy-duty truck."  We've since learned that he backed into the truck.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Kate Mitchell of Lexington, Ky., holds Mouse down as officials bandage his leg after he was injured while walking to the Inauguration Day parade.  Credit: Kevin Wolf / Associated Press.

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