Michelle Kim

Horse Once Saved From Slaughter Rescued From Collapsed Cesspool Near Long Island Barn: Police

A lucky horse once saved from slaughter was rescued once more on Long Island when he plunged into a collapsed cesspool while grazing in a backyard and got stuck up to his head and neck in underground water and waste, police say. 

The 6-year-old gelding named Santino escaped his barn in Islip Terrace to graze on grass in the backyard of his owner's home Thursday afternoon when he plunged into the 6-feet-wide cesspool, according to Suffolk County police. 

Santino's head was about four feet below ground level in the hole, and he was covered to his head and neck in waste and water. 

Local business owners assisted police in the rescue, lending a pay loader to excavate a ramp that allowed rescuers access to the horse, and a tow truck equipped with a lift boom as a backup.

Video shows the rescuers finally pulling Santino out from underground to cheers and applause from bystanders. Veterinarians examined him and determined he wasn't hurt.

Santino had been purchased by his owner two years ago in Louisiana, the day before he was scheduled to be slaughtered, according to police. 

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