Man who was living in his car offered home and job after helping seriously ill rescue pony

  • A man who was living in his car and came to the aid of a seriously ill rescue pony has since been offered a home and a job.

    Roberta Bartington of registered charity Woodfield Animal Sanctuary in South Wales was notified about an emaciated pony, thought to be a foal, wandering near a beach in the Rhossili area at the end of March. Roberta went searching for him in the dark and was given permission by the authorities to take him in.

    “He was very sick, and when we got him home and our vets checked him they thought he was about two years old,” she said.

    “He was the most emaciated pony they had seen and he needed a 24-hour drip. He couldn’t stand up and was just a bag of bones. We had to carry him on to the trailer to take him to the vet hospital.”

    The colt, who has been named O’Grady after the late entertainer Paul O’Grady, was eventually allowed to return to Woodfield Animal Sanctuary, but needed round-the-clock care.

    “He couldn’t get up by himself and the vet said someone had to be with him through the night to get him up every hour and a half,” said Roberta.

    “When I became unwell and was off my feet for a few days I panicked thinking ‘How are we going to manage?’”

    Roberta posted on Facebook looking for help, and when Karl Allen heard about O’Grady, he offered his services.

    “Karl went into the stable and within minutes built up a rapport with O’Grady,” said Roberta.

    “He has spent every night with O’Grady in the stable, and really does just have a way with all the animals here. He’s very knowledgeable.

    “O’Grady is only halfway out of the woods, but the vets can’t get over the difference in him. He’s put on some weight and is a different, and happy horse.”

    Karl is now living in a static caravan at Woodfield with his dog Tilly, and Roberta said she will offer him a job at the sanctuary.

    “It’s been a dream to work in a sanctuary, and when I heard about O’Grady I knew it was something I could help with. I’ve worked with livestock and as a groom,” Karl told H&H, adding that he had been living in his car after “life had given him a kick”.

    “I spend every night with O’Grady, I talk to him and help him up. Every day he’s getting stronger. I know he’ll make it, because I won’t let him not.”

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