A young pony was found dumped on a landfill site in Gainsborough and is now in the temporary care of a local animal welfare charity.
Bransby Horses was called to a 100 acre site after staff noticed the pony wandering around where there were lorries and large machinery in operation, as well as waste gas outlets.
When the rescue team arrived and eventually found the black and white colt, who has been named Stig, he was friendly and pleased to see them. Stig, who is around 12 hands high and around two-years-old, is now safe and will be cared for by the charity for the rest of his life.
The team also helped with attempts to trace the pony’s owner. The charity’s Field Officer managed to get close enough to scan the pony for a microchip, which is a legal requirement in all horses and ponies, but none was found.
The pony was removed for safety reasons and temporarily boarded with the charity until the Abandonment Notice which was served had run its course of four working days, while police were also informed to try and help trace the owners.
Stig was given a lead rope to carry which kept him entertained until he reached the trailer. Stig seemed very proud of his new toy and enjoyed the attention from his new-found friends, the charity said.
At the end of the Abandonment Notice nobody had come forward so the ownership of the animal was legally transferred to the landowner who can then decide what to do with the equine, which can include selling or rehoming them.
After its first rescue of the year, the charity is reminding all horse owners to keep their animal’s identity details up-to-date.
Some 25 abandoned equines came into the charity’s care in 2021.
Emma Carter, Executive Director of Equine Welfare, said: “It’s not unusual for us to be called to ponies or horses who may have escaped from their field. A quick check for a microchip and we are able to reunite them with their owners.
“Sadly, in this case we were unable to do that, as the pony was not microchipped. This meant an Abandonment Notice had to be served, and the police informed to try and trace the owners.”
Welfare Manager Rachel Jenkinson said: “The staff on the site had become very fond of him as he entertained himself by following them around and giving them the odd nip.
“Despite the friendship, he was rubbing up against and damaging their site machinery and it was a dangerous environment for him which can quickly become a welfare concern.
“Our welfare team were able to advise the site owners that an Abandonment Notice should be placed at the location. The notice forms part of the legal process under the Control of Horses Act 2015 (England) which should be followed when a horse is believed to be abandoned.
Rachel added: “We named him ‘Stig’ from the children’s book ‘Stig of the Dump’. He was a bit dishevelled but otherwise there were no immediate health concerns and he was very friendly.
“The team managed to put a head collar on and walk him back to the trailer but, being a young colt (uncastrated male horse), Stig was very playful and was displaying typical youngster behaviour by nipping the team and wanting to play.”