Two young ponies are fighting for their lives at a rescue centre in Bransby after they were abandoned in a shocking, emaciated state.
The yearlings, who have been named Lasso and Bullseye by staff, were left to die at an undisclosed location in the village of Brant Broughton, just south of Lincoln.
Their plight triggered an investigation by the police, who contacted the Bransby Horse charity, where they are now being treated and cared for.
“They are both being monitored, and it’s a case of fingers crossed for their recovery,” said Claire Hogarth, marketing manager at the centre, which is one of the UK’s largest equine welfare organisations.
“Both were in very poor, sickening condition. They were malnourished and painfully thin. They were also infested with lice and, as a result, had lesions covering their bodies.”
Of the two, Lasso gave more cause for concern because he was “quiet, lethargic and severely dehydrated, with barely enough energy to eat”. Vets were so worried that they administered five litres of intravenous fluids, along with pain relief, steroids, antibiotics and a probiotic. He even underwent a plasma transfusion from one of the centre’s healthy horses, Thor.
“He showed signs of improvement, but is still very weak and has a long road to revovery ahead of him,” said Claire.
Bullseye, a bright, cheeky and high-spirited pony did not look as fragile, but that was partly because of his long winter coat. He still underwent routine tests, and the Bransby staff are having to work tirelessly to build his strength and begin his rehabilitation.
The ponies are just two of 411 horses Bransby has at its beautiful 600-acre site at present. Most have been rescued, and are being prepared to be re-homed, after being dumped by owners who lacked the finances or knowledge to look after them.
The charity relies on public donations to continue its vital work.