, Salem, MA


February 18, 2014

Letter: Tireless efforts saved life of horse

To the editor:

I would like to express my family’s deepest gratitude for all those who helped save my and my daughter’s beloved horse, Moonshine, after she slid into and was submerged up to her neck in the freezing pond.

I would first like to thank Amy and Bob Cavilla, who noticed Moonie on their walk; she was quite camouflaged and let out a snort to be noticed, and they acted quickly in calling emergency services. The first responders, the Hamilton and Wenham fire departments — hats off to dispatcher Keith Holloran and Chief of Police Russell Stevens, as well as Chris Cloutman from Dodge Tree Services, G and J towing from Revere, Essex County Technical Team and FEMA. They put all hands on deck, while Dr. Bryan Parrott and Dr. Derek Cavatorta did all they could to monitor and maintain Moon’s health during the almost three hours she was in the water. They were with her the entire time and afterward to treat her in the barn. Moon’s rescue would not have been possible if not for the numerous volunteers, as well as my close friends, such as Amy Tissera and Amanda Smith, who acted in the situation as if Moonie were their own.

The day following the rescue, Deputy fire Chief Kirby Brand from the Hamilton Fire Department came into the barn to check on Moonie. I was amazed he recognized the almost-white horse that had been black from the mud the day before, but mostly that he personally came to check on her. It was so thoughtful.

Kirby told me about his team’s dedication to her successful rescue since I was not in town at the time of the initial incident. I was informed that after over an hour in the pond, the 12 men in there with her were asked if they wanted to take a break. Despite fatigue and intense cold, none of them took his offer. If it were not for their tireless efforts and unwavering manpower, the outcome for this special horse would have been much different.

There are no words to express how grateful my family and my horse are for all those heroes who devoted themselves to getting her, one of the largest horses in Hamilton, safely out of this terrifying situation.

Fern E. Selesnick

Skylar A. Frisch


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