A group of 22 Shetland ponies have been brought back to health by national pet charity Blue Cross after they were found severely emaciated and neglected.
The ponies, who have been named after Beatrix Potter characters by staff at Blue Cross’s rehoming centre in Burford, were rescued by the RSPCA earlier this year.
They were found belly deep in mud with no food or water, in Leicestershire. Sadly some were in such a terrible state of neglect that they had to be euthanized.
Following the successful prosecution of their owner for neglect, the surviving 22 ponies were transferred to Blue Cross’s rehoming centre in Burford, Oxfordshire.
The horse team at the national pet charity’s rehoming centre on Shilton Road have been working with the group to rehabilitate them and now many of the ponies are reserved or have already gone off to loving new homes.
Blue Cross regularly works with organisations like the RSPCA to help rehabilitate and rehome horses and ponies that have been seized as part of welfare cases.
Vicki Alford, Horse Manager at Blue Cross rehoming centre in Burford, said: “On arrival the ponies were in a really sad state. It was heart-breaking to see.
“All had over grown and curled up hooves, were riddled with lice and very underweight. The transporter who brought them to Burford described the place where they were found as horrific – apparently there was no food or water and they were stood in mud up to their tummies. How they survived is any one’s guess.
“After love and care from the team here many have already gone to new homes and we couldn’t be happier to see them go to loving new families where they can live a happy life.”
Two ponies from the group – Flopsy and Mrs Tittlemouse – are still looking for new homes, while four – Timmy Tiptoes, Babitty Bumble Bee, Mrs Tiggy Winkle and Hunca Munca – are still waiting to be cleared for rehoming by the horse unit team.
It costs Blue Cross up to £300 a day to keep a horse, depending on how much vet, farrier and training intervention they need.
If you would like to make a donation to Blue Cross to help us help more animals like the Beatrix Potter Shetlands or if you are interested in rehoming a horse or another pet then please visit www.bluecross.org.uk