Abandoned elderly horse undergoes ‘miraculous transformation’

An abandoned elderly horse found suffering has undergone a “miraculous transformation” and been given a second chance in his new “for ever home”.

Jack, a 20-year-old gelding, was abandoned in May 2018 with “serious welfare concerns” at a stables in Furnace, near Llanelli. The landowner notified the RSPCA and Jack was seized by Dyfed-Powys Police and taken into the care of the charity.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said attending inspectors Rohan Barker and Nigel Duguid found Jack to be emaciated and in urgent need of help.

Inspector Barker said: “This poor horse had been mysteriously dumped in a really bad way.

“His ribs and spine were visible; he was badly emaciated. Veterinary examination confirmed he was suffering, and it was just miserable to witness.”

Jack’s “transformation”

Jack was placed in a private boarding establishment in Swansea where he underwent months of rehabilitation.

Juls De Smet, who looked after Jack, said: “He’s such a friendly, easy horse, who was no trouble at all. He clearly appreciated us tending to him and helping him get better.

“It’s just such a great shame he had been left in such a horrendous state. It looks to me that as poor Jack was getting older, someone thought he wasn’t good enough any more and just dumped him. It’s so cruel.”

Jack was adopted by a Shropshire family who lost two horses in 2018.

“Tragically we lost two horses within 10 weeks. It was an awful situation and we were left with one horse, suddenly all on her own and lonely – having lost both her mother and friend within weeks. We were all so upset,” said rehomer Tina.

“We were desperate to get some company for our mare — initially moving three sheep in next door to stave off our lonely horse’s unhappiness. That’s when we called the RSPCA and they were so helpful. They soon found Jack, who they rescued some months earlier.”

Jack arrived with the family on a trial basis in December 2018.

“He moved in and immediately was an amazing companion. He was a fantastic addition at such a stressful time, when we were under real pressure to find another suitable horse,” said Tina.

“His rehabilitation has continued with us – and the weight he’s put on, his beautiful shiny coat and his fantastic personality are a far cry from how the RSPCA found him in Llanelli.”

Tina has urged others to consider rehoming a rescue horse.

“I’d say to anyone if you’ve got the right facilities, experience and space, rescue horses can make the most fantastic companions,” she said.

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“After what they’ve been through, they deserve happiness, security and comfort. We completed the formal adoption of Jack a couple of weeks ago and it really was one of the best decisions we have made.”

RSPCA equine welfare manager for Wales and the Midlands Gareth Johnson said Jack’s story shows the “miraculous transformation” rescue horses can go through.

“From being dumped heartlessly in Llanelli and in a woeful condition, to making the perfect companion to humans and animals alike many miles away in Shropshire – this has been some journey for Jack,” he said.

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