Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk has offered a minature Shetland pony recovering from a road accident a permanent home.

Tilly was seriously injured in a traffic accident in Cumbria at the beginning of July.

The abrasions to her hind legs suggested that she might have been dragged by a vehicle along the A66. The muscles were damaged to the bone and her joints were leaking fluid. It was not known by vets whether she would survive.

However, she has now been moved to Redwings where vets are beginning to work on skin grafts.

Tilly, who Redwings estimate to be in her late teens, is also thought to have been neglected prior to her accident as her teeth were extremely overgrown.

Her owner has not been traced.

Senior welfare officer for Redwings Rachel Angell said: “It will take a long time for Tilly to recover fully from the initial wounds. Her accident is likely to leave her with massive scars and permanent damage that means she is going to need ongoing veterinary care.

“The team at Redwings were so moved by her sad story that we just had to offer her a home here, where we can give her all the care that she might need, for as long as she needs it.”

Head of welfare and senior Redwings vet Nicolas de Brauwere said: “There is a kind of sick irony to the fact that Tilly’s accident may in some ways have saved her — she had been completely neglected and the condition of her mouth and teeth was amongst the worst we have ever seen.

“The injury is healing well and the skin grafts are taking well.”