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‘A life worth living’: filly horrifically injured in suspected acid attack wins national hero award

A pony who hit headlines as a yearling after she suffered horrific facial injuries in a suspected acid attack has won a national award.

Cinders, who was dumped with extensive burns in April 2018, was named Battersea rescue animal of the year in the 2020 Mirror Animal Hero Awards.

Donations flooded in for Cinders after widespread media coverage of her condition, and in May 2018, Jamie Peyton, of the University of California, flew to Britain to operate on her at Rainbow Equine Hospital.

Ms Peyton brought the pioneering fish-skin dressings she had been using on animals and, with a team of vets and a plastic surgeon from the world-leading burns unit at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, treated Cinders’ extensive wounds.

By September 2018, the filly had recovered enough to move to a new home, with people well known to the team at Rainbow, in what the hospital’s internal equine medicine specialist Dave Rendle described as a “fairytale ending”.

Her new owner Julie said: “I don’t know how anyone could have done something so awful to such a trusting and gentle little creature. There are no words. Luckily she is so happy and healthy now.

“I fell in love with Cinders the moment I saw her; she has been nothing but a joy to look after considering what she has been through. She is loving, trusting and inquisitive and has built up a special bond with two little donkeys that share a stable with her. They do everything together.”

Julie added: “I am so proud of Cinders and how she has come through this, she so deserves this award. She is an absolute hero and just a wonderful part of our family.”

Jonathan Anderson from Rainbow praised the generosity of the University of California Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital who sponsored Jamie Peyton to come and treat Cinders and funded her travel.

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“We also were in awe of the amazing collaboration of the plastic surgeons from Pinderfields all of whom gave their own time and expertise for free on two occasions to help operate and perform facial reconstruction for Cinders,” he said.

He also thanked the hard work and dedication of the team of interns, nurses and vets from who “poured their heart and soul into caring for Cinders over the course of several months and made her life worth living again”.

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