A yearling found tethered with a maggot-infested wound caused by a chain digging into her neck is enjoying life with new foster carers having made a full recovery.

Madge was found in field near Courtney Road in Grays, Essex, on 12 November 2015 looking sad and withdrawn.

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A member of the public called the RSPCA who discovered the wound in the pony’s neck had become infested with maggots.

“The wound was horrendous – approximately five inches by two inches and swarming in maggots,” said RSPC inspector Marie Hammerton.

Vets estimated the pony had been suffering for about two weeks.

“The tether used was totally inappropriate – a thick metal chain wrapped in what appears to be the inner tube of a push bike,” said Ms Hammerton.

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“She would have been in so much pain. Neglect on this level is something no animal should ever have to suffer.”

The pony was taken to a local veterinary hospital for treatment.

She was not microchipped and it appeared she had not been cared for for some time.

Following her recovery, Madge was looked after in private boarding arranged by the RSPCA until July this year when she was fostered by Hilary Major.

The pony is now living with in West Sussex with the Majors’ other horses.

“Madge is a very easy pony, very friendly, and despite her awful story and previous terrible wound, she is very trusting,” said Mrs Major.

“She is going to make somebody a very lovely riding pony one day.”

Madge’s story is helping highlight the RSPCA’s ‘Love Animals, Hate Cruelty” winter campaign, which aims to bring the plight of animals’ neglect to public attention.

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Between October 2015 and January 2016 the charity received 45,176 calls about animals suffering due to neglect, on average one call every four minutes.

Cases of neglect range from animals left without shelter or enough food and water to those like Madge, left with painful injuries.