ELIZABETH, Colo. (CBS4) – A horse that was rescued after falling through a protected septic tank near Elizabeth on Tuesday morning had to be put down.

Elbert County sheriff’s deputies and crews from Road and Bridge were able to pull the horse out of the tank, but the horses owner, Cassidy Dreisziger, told CBS4 the horse had to be put down because of the injuries.

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(credit: Elbert Co. Sheriff)

(credit: Elbert Co. Sheriff)

“The injuries he had were deep lesions in his joints and the infection was already setting in. Due to his age and the extent of his injuries it was just best for him to put him down,” Dreisziger said.

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Dreisziger called the animal an “amazing horse that recently retired from giving handicapped children therapy lessons.”

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Dreisziger said it’s believed the horse became spooked by lightning in the area and jumped a fence around the septic tank. The horse landed on the cover of the tank, which broke and he fell through.