By Matt Petrillo

AMITY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — A horse rescued from frigid temperatures after it fell into an icy creek in Berks County has died, authorities say. The Amity Township Police Department said Thursday night the horse named Smalls had to be put down due to his “deteriorating condition.”

Crews rushed to Monocacy Creek in Amity Township, near Douglassville, Berks County, Wednesday morning.

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“It was a big challenge for everyone involved,” Amity Police Chief Jeffrey Smith said.

First responders had to pull out the nearly 1,300-pound horse.

“I don’t think anyone there has ever dealt with a horse rescue outside the veterinarian and she said, ‘I don’t know what to do,'” Smith said.

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But quick-thinking first responders used a backhoe to dig out some of the creek’s edge. Then, divers in wetsuits went into the creek.

“They were able to maneuver ropes and harnesses around the horse, and were able to get the horse on the shoreline,” Smith said. “You can tell the horse was just drained and that was a majority of the challenge.”

The frigid temperatures, along with water 6 feet deep, also made lifting Smalls up a challenge.

“I never realized the creek was that deep,” the police chief said. “The horse was literally trying to stand up and his head was just barely above the water.”

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Officials aren’t sure how Smalls ended up in the creek.