Equine rescue and welfare charity Bransby Horses has taken in three severely mistreated Shetland ponies at the start of their winter welfare crisis campaign.
The ponies; Alfie, Tinkerbell and Tyrian were rescued last week from the Nottinghamshire area, heartbreakingly emaciated.
Bransby Horses said the three ponies had Body Condition Scores of 0, 1 and 0.5, respectively.
All three were extremely lethargic on collection and Alfie, who is just two-years-old, collapsed in the trailer and has since had to be lifted by the charity’s Animal Reception Centre Team on numerous occasions.
They added he has no muscle or fat on him and weighs just 35kg.
The owner of the Shetland ponies no longer has any equines in their care. The charity said they “struggled to initially see the severity of concern and reacted too late”.
Ryan Rouse, Head of External Welfare at Bransby Horses, said: “The vet is taking this case very seriously and we are monitoring all three of the ponies around the clock.
“Their blood results show severe health issues that we must tackle carefully once they have stabilised, but the main aim at the moment is to simply build their strength.
“We are lucky to have a great support network that offers advice in these situations.
“The severity of their weight loss is masked by their thick coats which is not an uncommon feature with welfare cases over the winter period.
“It is very worrying to think that this is only the start of the colder weather and we are already dealing with such horrific cases, it leaves an uneasy feeling with us all.”
The rescue coincided with the first of this year’s cold weather. Space is already limited at the charity based near Saxilby.
Bransby Horses is funded entirely by public donations and is currently caring for more than 400 horses, donkeys and mules.