A pony rescued by the RSPCA after suffering horrific burns to her back legs amazed vets with her astonishing recovery, and has now been given the Survivor Animal Award at the RSPCA Honours Awards.
Elsa was awarded the prestigious accolade by judges who were so impressed by the plucky pony’s strength and will to live.
Chris Sherwood, the RSPCA’s chief executive officer and honours judge said: “What this plucky pony has gone through in her short life already is just unbelievable, but her strength and ability to bounce back and beat the odds is utterly inspiring.
“The fact that somebody could treat her in such an appalling way is unthinkable and when judging the awards, we struggled to read the details of her story, let alone view the photos. I wouldn’t have blamed Elsa if she never wanted to be touched by humans again.
“However, Elsa shows us just how amazing and forgiving animals are, and her story is a perfect example of how, with love and care, animals really are capable of anything, and also just how much they need us to show them kindness.”
Elsa was found on a frozen winter day in January 2016, abandoned and alone on a remote lane in Tyne & Wear, suffering with horrific, bleeding wounds on her back legs that were so deep her muscles were exposed.
After being called by a passer-by who spotted Elsa by chance, the RSPCA inspector who rushed to the scene described Elsa as suffering with the worst injuries she had ever seen on a horse.
The wounds to the back of Elsa’s legs were completely exposed, infected and bleeding - causing her excruciating pain.
Elsa, named after the Disney princess because of the frozen weather at the time, was rushed to a vet who gave her emergency treatment and strong painkillers.
It is not known how Elsa suffered her painful injuries but the vet predicted that her wounds were at least three days old by the time she was found.
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, her grooms noticed she was also lame. X-rays revealed poor Elsa was in fact also suffering with laminitis.
Several months of specialist treatment and remedial shoeing followed, but Elsa bounced back once again, and landed herself a foster home for several months, before recently returning to RSPCA Felledge, where she is being gently backed.
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