The RSPCA is hoping for a miracle after a collapsed foal was rescued from a muddy field on Christmas Day.
The RSPCA was called to a skewbald foal collapsed in a field in Cinderford, Gloucestershire. RSPCA Acting Chief Inspector Rachel Hayward rushed to the scene and together with the help of two local wildlife charities, members of the public and the police, rescued the foal and got him to a specialist equine hospital.
Inspector Hayward said: “He was collapsed in the mud and rain, he didn’t have the energy to lift his head, he looked in a very bad way. I was willing him to survive, telling him ‘Come on it’s Christmas, don’t give up’.
“I’m really hoping for a Christmas miracle that he pulls through.” She added: “This was a difficult rescue, it was muddy and raining throughout and because it was Christmas it was more difficult than normal to get the help we needed.
“There were some members of the public there, members of two wildlife charities and later some police officers – everyone was pitching in and helping to try and save this little foal. We are really grateful for their efforts.”
The foal, who has been nicknamed Chancer, was wrapped up in blanket and gently propped up with bales of hay while inspector Hayward called the police and rang around to find an equine vet, specialist horse ambulance and an equine hospital free on Christmas Day.
The vet treated the exhausted foal with painkillers and gave him five litres of fluid through a drip to rehydrate him. The Police seized the foal and placed him in RSPCA care.
When the horse ambulance arrived Chancer was carefully placed into a hammock and his rescuers helped hold him steady as he was winched aboard and transported to a specialist equine hospital. The little foal, who is thought to be about eight months-old, is currently fighting for his life at the hospital.
He was found to be in a very poor state with a high worm burden. He has been given extensive care including a plasma transfusion, antibiotics and round the clock care. Chancer was unable to get to his feet but today (WEDS) is back on all four hooves again for the first time since his rescue.
Inspector Hayward said: “I am absolutely delighted that Chancer is back on his feet again. He is still a very poorly pony and has got a long road to recovery but this is an extremely good sign.”
We would like to thank everyone who gave up their Christmas day to rescue this little foal:
Vale Wildlife Hospital in Beckford, A Wild Life with Animals and members of the public who worked tirelessly to save the foal, the vet and Philip Smith-Maxwell of Equine Ambulances of Worcestershire who left their Christmas dinners to help and the staff at the the equine hospital who are working around the clock to try and save Chancer.
The RSPCA is trying to trace Chancer’s owner and would appeal for anyone with information which could help our investigation to call 0300 1238018 and leave a message for Inspector Rachel Hayward.
The country is currently in the grip of a horse crisis with the RSPCA and other horse welfare charities struggling to cope with the numbers of abandoned, neglected and abused horses. We are stretched to breaking point with about 125 places at our equine centres and over 500 horses in our care.
Our inspectors are working around the clock to monitor and assess horses at risk and often give up their spare time and own money to buy food for them.
To find out how to rehome a horse from the RSPCA please go to http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/horses/rehoming