A rescued Shetland has found a loving foster home in time for Christmas.

The diminutive equine, named Mr Chips, was rescued in August — along with a herd of friends — and was taken in by Lincolnshire-based charity Bransby Horses.

“The owners were struggling and had been reported to the RSPCA, whose officers worked closely with them as something needed to be done quickly,” Ryan Rouse, head of external welfare at the charity told H&H.

“He was with 25 others — it was a sea of Shetlands!”

The ponies were all signed over to the charity and of the 26 that came in, all 13 of the colts were entire.

It was a bit like having a stag party at Bransby when they first arrived,” added Mr Rouse.

“They have all settled really well and are progressing with their handling a lot quicker than we anticipated.”

The charity is in the process of rehoming the Shetlands as is working hard to make sure they match them with the right homes “as closely as possible”.

Mr Rouse added the charity is “really pleased” with the home Mr Chips has found.

“He has his own Shetland personality,” he said. “For what they are looking for, with children and as a companion, he is perfect.”

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The charity shared the news on its Facebook and Twitter pages, together with a picture of Mr Chips sporting a Santa hat, and the post has so far had more than 500 “likes”.

“Mr Chips is going out to a foster home today! He really deserves a loving home in time for Christmas, such a special little pony,” said a spokesman for the charity on Facebook.

Bransby Horses, founded in 1968, has taken in a total of 153 horses this year — 20 more than in 2015 (news, 22 December).

“We are pushed to the brim more than ever, with no sign of the number in need dropping in the near future,” Mr Rouse told H&H recently.