Two abandoned Shetlands, named by the RSCPA as French and Saunders, have been rescued by the charity.

The ponies were found on 11 January in Redbridge Lane, Nursling, Hampshire after the RSPCA was called by a member of the public.

“When I arrived at the bare field I couldn’t see the pair, until I glanced into the lush green field next door and spotted them. They had broken through the fence and were chomping away on the grass,” said RSPCA Inspector Penny Baker.

As cheeky as these two are to have broken through, I could immediately see what a health risk this posed to them, let alone how they could have potentially injured themselves on the poor fencing from the bare paddock.

“One had extremely overgrown hooves and resembled slippers, and the pair going from having very little to eat to suddenly having lots of lush grass in a 15-acre field was an obvious laminitis risk.”

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Inspector Baker left notices at the field, which the RSPCA is legally required to do.

However, after checking the ponies for the next two days and with still no contact from the owners, she became increasingly concerned for their welfare and called a vet who came to asses their health.

“The vet confirmed that under section 9 of the animal welfare act 2006, French and Saunders were likely to suffer if we didn’t act, so police removed them and placed them into our care,” said Inspector Baker.

“Much like their namesakes, French and Saunders are quite the little characters.

“Happily they are now on the road to recovery and we will be looking for the perfect new home for them in time.”

Anyone with information is urged to call: 0300 123 8018.