A Shetland pony found living in stomach-deep mud is the adorable star of the RSPCA’s tear-jerking Christmas advert.
Tink features as the little pony who dreams of becoming a reindeer in the charity’s Christmas video for their “Stock the Sleigh for the RSPCA” appeal.
The clip sees Tink escaping from her stable to deliver gifts to her fellow rescue animals, before sprouting a pair of glowing antlers as she strides off into the sunset with Father Christmas. It is set to a cover of Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, sung by RSPCA press officer Lucy Ellie.
“I am so proud of all the hard work that has gone into making this video,” said RSPCA broadcast manager Alan Laxton.
“Hopefully it will inspire people to think of animals in need over the festive period and to feel that our gifts of kindness can really go a long way to changing their lives.
“Tink truly was a superstar on the day and hopefully her starring role in the video will lead to her finding a new home in time for Christmas.”
The magical scene is a far cry from the conditions in which the pony was found in March this year.
RSPCA Jo Story found her underweight, hungry and in a pool of deep mud. Nobody took responsibility for her, so it was assumed she had been abandoned.
“She was stomach deep in mud in places and it was impossible to walk through the sticky, wet conditions,” said Ms Story.
“It was most noticeable along the fence-line which divided her paddock from the main field, suggesting she had been pacing up and down the boundary line.
“There was no grass or additional food — all feeders were empty — and the field was covered in standing water. Tink had no straw or bedding and not even a comfortable resting area.
“Knowing her background, it is so lovely to see her now really thriving. Her personality has come out and she is very dear to all our hearts.
“It really makes the job worthwhile when you can see an animal really get a second chance at living life, and it’s even better that she will be helping other needy animals as the star of our Christmas video.”
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Patricia Spargo, manager at RSPCA Lockwood where Tink now lives, added: “Tink has such a strong personality, she constantly makes us all laugh as she is so expressive and you can just see what she is thinking all over her face.
“She’s a typical Shetland in that she loves her food but gains weight very easily, so we’ve had to be quite strict with her diet.
“It’s so great that we’ve been able to shine a light on the important work of our inspectors and carers at the centre who have worked tirelessly to get Tink back to a place of health and happiness.”
The Stock the Sleigh campaign is to help the charity deliver life-saving supplies to animals in need.
The charity expects more than 10,000 vulnerable animals to be taken in over the winter and on Christmas day last year, it received 934 calls — the highest in five years.
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