Twenty-one Shetlands have been given new rugs to keep them warm this Christmas.

The Shetlands, who arrived into the care of RSPCA Gonsal Farm Equine Centre in Shrewsbury earlier this autumn are building up their strength after being neglected.

Kate Clement, equine yard manager at RSPCA Gonsal Farm, said: “It was a shock to suddenly receive the 21 Shetlands all at once, but they needed care immediately so we had to make room.

“We didn’t have quite enough rugs for them all, and though Shetlands wouldn’t normally need a rug in most circumstances due to their thick coats, these were in such a bad state of neglect they needed the extra layer to keep them warm now the weather has turned colder.

“We contacted Ruggles and they kindly let us have the rugs at a discounted price, and even one free. We are so grateful to Ruggles Horse Rugs for helping us out.”

The herd of Shetlands, who are a range of different ages, are still underweight and the team at RSPCA Gonsal Farm are working around the clock to help build them back to strength.

Diane Leake of Ruggles Horse Rugs said she was only too happy to help.

“We are a small company but I always try to help out animals charities where I can. When my team and I had the call from the team at Gonsal Farm and heard about the Shetlands, we wanted to help them out,” she added.

“As the doting owner of a miniature Shetland myself, I do have a partiality to them.”

With the help of two other RSPCA inspectors and a team from Gonsal Farm, RSPCA inspector David McCartney collected the group of 28 Shetland ponies back in October, seven of which were taken into the care of World Horse Welfare.

He said: “A great effort from our equine team saw these ponies safely and quickly collected, 21 of which were transported to Gonsal Farm. They are receiving the best of care there, including three meals a day and as much hay as they can eat. I am very hopeful that in time they will each find loving new homes.”