12 days of Christmas
2015 has been a record-breaking year with 344 ill, injured, neglected and vulnerable horses arriving at our four Rescue and Rehoming Centres.
Sadly, we are running out of space. But we know that over the coming freezing months the need will continue to grow.
In the last six weeks we have helped over 100 horses into our care – a third of our entire capacity. Many have young foals with them or are in foal. Some are suffering from painful diseases. Others are desperately thin. £250 is the average cost of the first week of critical intensive care for a new arrival and so the charity’s resources are under enormous pressure right now.
We need our supporters now more than ever. But how can you help?
As a non-profit organisation, we could not continue our important work helping horses without you. With costs mounting as more and more horses arrive with us in desperate need of veterinary and farriery care as well as the dedicated attention of our teams, donations of any size allow us to give these horses and ponies what they so badly need. All Christmas, our grooms will still be working hard to provide round-the-clock care to the residents at our Rescue and Rehoming Centres – and they cannot do it without your generous support.
From a bale of hay through to a pair of remedial shoes – every penny can make an enormous difference. Please consider giving today.
Give through our website or donate £3 to help feed 3 horses for a day. Text FEED30 £3 to 70070 to donate to World Horse Welfare and make a difference today. JustTextGiving by Vodafone. Our terms and conditions are here.
As winter rapidly approaches and more horses become at risk in the wetter, colder weather we desperately need to free up more space in our Rescue and Rehoming Centres. Over the last two months our rehoming figures have been exceptional – but we urge anyone thinking of taking on a horse or pony to consider rehoming from us. We have an enormous range of wonderful horses and ponies available: from loyal companions through to those with the potential to become competition superstars. Our pages are updated every Wednesday and up-and-coming horses are listed on our Horses in Progress page.
With 2015 drawing to a close, we would like to share with your our very own “12 days of Christmas” countdown. On each of the next 12 working days you can read the stories that have most touched us and our supporters the most from January through to December.
Twelve Days of Christmas, day one: Noah
Following a request for assistance from the RSPCA in early January 2015, our Field Officer Rachel Andrews visited a group of young ponies being kept in a field.
Three had already been removed due to their poor condition and two of those had sadly been put to sleep due to complications probably caused by worm damage. This left both us and the RSPCA with very real concern over the remaining ponies that were already showing signs of deterioration. Three cob colts, Nemo, Noah and Noddy soon arrived at our Lancashire Rescue and Rehoming Centre, Penny Farm, as no owner ever came forward to claim them. All three were only yearlings and in a very sorry state having received no care or attention. Covered in lice and carrying heavy worm burdens, the ponies were in real danger of developing permanent health problems.
With the time and attention of our specialist vet, farrier and physiotherapist as well as his dedicated groom, Noah blossomed into a curious and friendly youngster who has now found a loving new home with a caring family. Noddy was also lucky enough to find his perfect rehomer and sweet little Nemo is currently seeking the right home.
Twelve Days of Christmas, day two: Zoe
Zoe on arrival
Zoe was found as part of a group of ponies abandoned and dumped on a common. They were all underweight in varying degrees, some critically so, in a weak and starving state. Immediate action was needed and Zoe was removed to Glenda Spooner Farm alongside 6 month old Orlagh and her mother Rhoswyn whose tragic story we told earlier this year.
Zoe shortly before rehoming.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team, Zoe made a full and fantastic recovery. Find out more about Zoe's story and learn how you can help horses just like Zoe here.
Twelve Days of Christmas, day three: Banoffee
Banoffee on arrival
Banoffee came into our care in early March 2015 when a group of young cob colts were found abandoned. They were all starving and emaciated and immediate action was taken.
Sadly, the ponies were very sick, suffering from strangles as well as being severely emaciated and covered in lice. Despite the fact they were suffering and had never been handled, they proved to be kind and willing ponies who responded quickly to the care and handling from our expert teams.
12 days of Christmas, day four: Titan
Titan came into World Horse Welfare care following a call to the welfare line in late April 2015 from a member of the public concerned about a black pony that was believed abandoned in a field in Southampton.
He was severely underweight with a body condition score of just 0.5 out of 5 – where 0 is emaciated and 5 is obese. Sadly, he was also suffering with extensive hair loss caused by a lice infestation - one of the worst we had seen for some time.
Despite the teams’ best efforts, Titan was sadly put to sleep a few weeks later following a short illness and treatment for liver dysfunction. It is quite possible that Titan’s illness was caused by a high worm burden that had been left untreated before he came to us – a very sad ending for a lovely young pony.
12 days of Christmas, day five: Izzy
At less than a year old, little Izzy had been inappropriately tethered using bailer twine. Unfortunately she had panicked and become entangled in the twine which embedded itself into the skin of her legs and chest, causing deep and painful injuries.
Izzy had to have stitches and staples on the wounds due to their depth and size and her recovery took a huge amount of care and dedication, but luckily she was able to make a full recovery and has now been rehomed with her fieldmate, Frodo.
12 days of Christmas day six: Buzz and Bee
Buzz and Bee came into World Horse Welfare in a very poor way, with the mare underweight and the foal struggling to feed.
A vet was called out and both ponies were taken straight to the vets for emergency care and when they were able to travel further they were moved to Glenda Spooner Farm.
Both Buzz and Bee are making excellent progress and have gained condition. They are slowly beginning to trust our staff and we hope they will both be available for rehoming in 2016.
12 days of Christmas day seven: Rapunzel, Rita, Ria and Rain
Rapunzel, Rita, Ria and Rain came into our care following ongoing concerns over a group of horses kept in a field. It was clear that the horses were not being cared for properly and they were underweight with overgrown feet. We had previously removed horses from this site and feared that the situation was only going to deteriorate.
The four ponies were quickly removed from the site and bought to our Lancashire Rescue and Rehoming Centre, Penny Farm, as we were growing increasingly concerned about their welfare and felt that their condition would only become worse with time. Sadly, Rapunzel’s dental problem was untreatable and the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep.
12 days of Christmas day eight: Spud
Spud came into World Horse Welfare care in August 2015. The poor pony had been suffering from bad sunburn to his face which was painful and infected. It was clear that he wasn’t being cared for properly and he was removed from the site.
Thankfully, Spud responded fantastically to treatment of his sunburn in a holding yard and made an amazing recovery .Once well enough to travel, he was signed over to us and he was transported to our Aberdeenshire Rescue and Rehoming Centre Belwade Farm.
12 days of Christmas day nine: Buttercup
This little, cremello Shetland filly came into our care after a call from a member of the public in early September 2015 requesting a visit to a field in Norfolk.
The caller was very concerned over a lame Shetland pony with very long feet. Field Officer Jacko visited and found a group of four Shetlands, one of which was indeed very lame with suspected laminitis and overgrown feet as well as being overweight.
12 days of Christmas, day 10: Choc
Choc arrived with us in October 2015. The three year-old was reported to be in distress and injured from a badly-fitted tether. Choc was found in the middle of a construction site which was entirely unsuitable for keeping horses on.
A strong smell of infection was coming from her neck around the tether collar and the collar was made of material similar to car seat belts. It was later found to be embedded deep into her skin and the wound was full of maggots. Shockingly, the wound was discovered to be just millimetres from hitting the spinal cord.
12 days of Christmas day 11: Belwade Natives
In November, we received a call about a large group of native ponies whose owner had lost his grazing and had 52 ponies in a very small area. With winter on its way and the welfare of the animals already deteriorating, we had to take action. We took 20 ponies into the care of our Aberdeenshire Rescue and Rehoming Centre, Belwade Farm.
The ponies arrived with high worm burdens, which can be incredibly dangerous to horses, causing complications such as colic, organ failure and even death. Due to the sheer number of ponies on site, they were also all completely unhandled and frightened of human contact. In order to give these ponies the treatment they need and eventually find them loving new homes, our grooms will need to spend many weeks acclimatising them to people and getting them comfortable with the sights and sounds of everyday life.
Sadly, multiple horse cases are becoming more and more common. Groups of 4, 10, 20 and even 40 are arriving at our Rescue and Rehoming Centres and large groups such as this place an enormous strain on the charity and their dedicated teams. With so many arriving in poor condition at once the demands on our staff and professionals’ time is incredible and the financial implication is enormous.
12 days of Christmas day 12: Rudolph
Just five days ago, on Friday 18th December 2015, we took Rudolph into our care. The poor foal had been abandoned in a Christmas tree field in Great Melton, Norfolk, and left to fend for himself. With severe damage to one eye and with a deep puncture wound to his hind leg, the poor youngster was in severe pain and all alone.
Luckily, Rudolph is now safe in our care and our dedicated team are doing all that they can to help him make a full recovery. There is no trace of Rudolph’s owner and we have no idea who left him there without food, water or care.
We are now appealing for anyone who may have information on Rudolph to come forward – details on how are available in our latest press release, along with more information on Rudolph himself. You can find that here.