A charity has seen an “unprecedented” rise in the number of lone foals being found abandoned.
Blue Cross fears that irresponsible breeders may be dumping them because they are considered to have a low value.
The charity has recently taken four foals into its centre in Burford, Oxfordshire.
One of which, who has since been named Olympus (pictured, below), was just six weeks old and barely alive.
“It is very upsetting to see foals as young as Olympus being left without their mother. It’s a miracle that he managed to survive,” said Jenna Martyn, rehoming manager at Blue Cross Burford.
“We are concerned that the value of foals, particularly colts, is now so low that they are possibly being dumped and that this abhorrent trend is going to continue to increase.
“We are monitoring the situation and will consult with other charities about what further steps may need to be taken if numbers carry on growing.”
Olympus was found abandoned in a field with two other very young foals.
The piebald colt was “clinging desperately to life” when a member of the public found him and alerted the RSPCA.
His two field companions sadly did not survive.
Olympus was given round-the-clock specialist care at Burford and despite suffering a setback when he developed an allergy to milk, he quickly adapted to eating an alternative foal feed as well as grass and hay.
Now at three months old he is doing well and enjoying life with companion Olaf, a two-year-old gelding (pictured, below).
Worst year for abandoned foals
Until this year, Blue Cross had never experienced any cases involving foals without their mothers.
A further three foals have also been taken in by the charity over the past few weeks.
Coloured colts Gandalf and Frodo (pictured, top) were found wandering on the road and were picked up by the local council.
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They were unclaimed and were taken in by Blue Cross where they are now doing “extremely well”.
Meanwhile Bobbi (pictured, above), a bay filly of around seven months old, was unwanted. She was weak and had a respiratory infection when she arrived at Blue Cross but with care and veterinary treatment she has made a good recovery.
Blue Cross is urgently looking for homes for Olympus, Frodo, Galdalf or Bobbi — for more information visit www.bluecross.org.uk