A plucky pony dumped with horrific leg injuries has finally left a specialist RSPCA equine centre after almost a year of care.
Two year-old filly Elsa was discovered, abandoned on a remote lane in Tyne & Wear, in January last year suffering with wounds on her back legs so deep her muscle was exposed.
The stunned member of the public who found Elsa called the RSPCA and took the filly to their own stables to keep her safe.
RSPCA inspector Jacqui Miller rushed to the scene and called a vet immediately after she saw Elsa ‘suffering with the worst injuries I’d ever seen on a horse.’
The wounds to the back of Elsa’s legs were completely exposed, infected and bleeding, causing her excruciating pain.
It's unknown how Elsa suffered her painful injuries, but the vet predicted that her wounds were at least three days old when she was found. The damaged skin was rotten and badly infected.
Elsa’s road to recovery continued to be a bumpy ride. As her wounds started to heal, the skin became tight and sore, and once she began to go out into the paddock, the staff noticed she was also lame. X-rays revealed poor Elsa was in fact also suffering with laminitis, causing the painful rotation of the pedal bone in one of her feet - another serious condition for the young ponyto overcome.
Several months of round-the-clock care by staff at the vets and the RSPCA Felled andremedial shoeing followed and Elsa bounced back against all odds and has now found a foster home with Katherine from Tyne & Wear.
Katharine, who has two horses called Chico and Honey, said: “To see Elsa now, you would never believe she went through such an ordeal, she is a happy little thing, and her legs have healed so well you’d never tell she suffered so much. The team at RSPCA Felledge have done a wonderful job with her.”.
Katharine said: “Elsa settled into my yard so quickly, and she’s so cheeky, she’s really livened up the place. I was looking for a companion for my sprightly 24 year-old horse Chico, as my Exmoor mare Honey who’s 23 prefers to take life in the slow lane. Elsa has been ideal, she’s just a calm little pony and takes everything in her stride.
“She’ll be a little small for me to ride so I hope to have her here with us until she’s ready to be backed in a year or two, and then I know she will go onto make somebody somewhere a really super little riding pony. For now, she’s happy enough pottering about being cheeky. She’s into everything, her favourite thing is to follow me into the feed room, I’m always shooing her out”
The team at RSPCA Felledge were sad to see Elsa leave the yard, after so many months of intensive, one-to-one care and treatment, but are delighted she has settled in.
Yard manager, Lisa Paulin, said: “We couldn’t be happier that Elsa has settled in so well with Katharine and her horses. When she was first rushed here this time last year, suffering so much from her wounds, we really couldn't have imagined her story would have such a happy ending.
“Elsa is one of many, many ponies cruelly abandoned in this country and her story is a prime example that even with the most terrible of injuries, animals can be determined to bounce back against all odds.”
The RSPCA is a charity and rely on public donations to exist. To enable them to continue rescuing and rehabilitating ponies like Elsa, text HORSE to 70111 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).