A diminutive mare who was found emaciated and hardly able to stand has defied all expectations and gone on to thrive in the care of Munchkins Miniature Shetland Rescue.

Poppet arrived at the charity in March this year. She was severely underweight, weak and infested with lice and worms. Staff were surprised she survived the journey to their base, given her poor condition. She weighed just 84kg – the average weight for a pony of her breed is 140kg – and vets gave her a body score of 0.2/5.

“We truly thought she wouldn’t pull through,” said Christine Crouch, a supporter of the charity. Despite their fears, the Munchkins team worked tirelessly to give Poppet the best chance of survival.

Working with their vets, the team began a careful refeeding scheme with Poppet, which would ensure she received the vital nutrients she needed, without consuming too much, too quickly. She was clipped to be treated for her lice and charity supporters donated rugs to keep her warm.

Several weeks later, Poppet’s weight increased and she was able to enjoy the company of ponies Twinkle and Silver. She had massages, grooming sessions and a short time on grass, while slowly gaining confidence.

She now weighs a healthy 135kg and is described as “very confident”. Poppet has been enjoying walks in the woods, grooming sessions and “lots of fuss”.

“She has found a particular friend in Bert who she adores and is very much enjoying life thanks to Tammy [Marx] and our wonderful team at Munchkins who literally saved her life,” added Christine. “Her name suits her too, as she really is a Poppet!”

Poppet now has a home for life at Munchkins. The charity was founded in 2014 by Tammy Marx to provide care for miniature Shetland ponies. Many of the ponies that come in to their care have suffered trauma and neglect and arrive in a poor state. Munchkins rehomes ponies where possible, and has found homes for more than 150 ponies to date. Those that cannot be rehomed remain at Munchkins for the rest of their lives.

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