A weeks-old foal who suffered “horrific” burns in a suspected arson attack is responding well to treatment in his new home — but is not out of the woods yet.
H&H reported this month that a yearling had died in a stable fire in Kent, thought to have been caused deliberately, but a foal had been rescued and taken to hospital.
After two weeks of emergency treatment at Lingfield Equine Vets, the seven-week-old foal, named Phoenix, was taken in by Redwings Horse Sanctuary this week.
A Redwings spokesman said: “Poor Phoenix had burns across one whole side of his body resulting in him losing most of his foal hair and his mane, and leaving him with incredibly painful sores.”
The spokesman added that, as Redwings has worked with vets and other welfare organisations in the area for years, Lingfield contacted the charity to ask if Phoenix could have a home there if he pulled through his initial treatment.
Redwings’ head of welfare and behaviour Nic de Brauwere said: “It’s heartbreaking that anyone would target any animal, but particularly such an innocent foal, with such a barbaric act of cruelty.
“Luckily, he ended up at Lingfield, who have given him every chance to survive. Phoenix’s condition was very touch and go for a few days, but he started to respond to treatment — his progress no doubt helped by his strong little character and the affection and skill of his carers at Lingfield.”
Mr de Brauwere added that it was clear Phoenix would need long-term intensive care, as well as a permanent home, so Redwings was “only too happy to help”. The charity funded his treatment at Lingfield, and the foal was taken to Redwings’ own hospital in Norfolk once he was well enough to travel.
Phoenix is now in Redwings’ ICU stables, with a mare called Mildred, a permanent resident at the sanctuary, in the next stable for company, and to act as a surrogate mother in time.
Senior vet Nicky Jarvis, Redwings’ head of veterinary services, said: “His skin will take an extensive amount of time to heal and we expect him to be left with a lot of scarring. His burns cover the whole left side of his body, including his legs, and they’re obviously very painful as he struggles to lie down in his stable.
“Our focus now is making sure his wounds are cleaned and dressed frequently and to help ease his discomfort with pain relief, which is happening around the clock thanks to the dedication of our wonderful vets and nurses here at Redwings.
“Phoenix still has a long way to go – while his condition is stable, he is certainly not out of the woods yet – but happily he is eating and drinking well, he appears alert and is super-friendly despite his ordeal. We’re keeping all our fingers crossed for him.”
Redwings and its vet team are funded entirely by public donations.
Anyone who wants to support Phoenix’s recovery can text RESCUE 20 to 70085 to donate £20 (texts cost the donation amount plus one standard rate message), call 01508 481000 or visit the Redwings website.
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