Pony dragged from a van and ‘left to die’ makes miracle transformation

A pony so underweight he was mistaken for a foal, dragged limp from a van and “left to die” has made a miraculous recovery and is looking forward to his first Christmas at a welfare charity.

A member of the public called the police after witnessing coloured cob Clarence being dragged from a van and dumped in a lay-by near Sevenoaks in Kent in January 2019.

A spokesman for Redwings Horse Sancutary said Clarence was severely underweight, had a parasite burden, was covered in lice and so weak he could not lift his head.

“Few expected him to live,” he said.

Clarence after his rescue in January 2019

“Police officers arrived to find Clarence breathing but too weak to move. He was so cold that a vet called to the scene was unable to record his temperature. He was taken to a nearby yard, which supports the police in caring for horses found on the roads, where he was given immediate treatment.”

The spokesman added that Clarence was half the weight he should have been and discovered to be two years old, and not a foal as first thought.

“There were times when it looked like nothing more could be done for Clarence, but the yard team persisted – turning him over day and night to prevent sores on his sides – until after three weeks he was finally able to stand unaided.”

Clarence was taken into the care of Redwings’ Ada Cole centre in Essex in February 2019 to continue his recovery.

The charity’s chief executive, Lynn Cutress, said: “Clarence’s heartbreaking story is a clear demonstration that there continues to be too many horses for the number of responsible owners in this country. Without the help of so many kind and hard-working people, he would most certainly have perished on the roadside, simply because someone decided they did not want him any more.

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“While Redwings, like many other animal sanctuaries across the UK, continues to operate at capacity we remain committed to being there for those in most desperate need. I’d like to thank everyone involved and our wonderful supporters who have ensured that ponies like Clarence will enjoy a safe and happy Christmas this year.”

The spokesman said Clarence is enjoying his time with a herd of new friends at the visitor centre.

“I hate to think what miseries Clarence must have faced last Christmas, but this year and for the rest of his life, he will be surrounded by all the love and care he deserves,” added Ms Cutress.

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