Little Holly’s sorry start in life
Abandoned on a freezing hillside in Wales just a month before Christmas, little foal Holly was at death’s door when she was rescued by Together for Animals member World Horse Welfare.
In November World Horse Welfare received a report of a young foal on her own on a hillside in Wales. Field Officer Tony went out to investigate and discovered that, despite her following other ponies around, no trace of Holly’s mother could be found.
Tony could see that Holly was underweight and far too young to be fending for herself. No owner came forward, despite Tony’s best efforts to find them, and it became clear that Holly needed expert care urgently. She would almost certainly have died had she spent another night on her own.
Holly was so poorly that she had to be taken to a nearby holding yard for a few days before she was strong enough to travel to the charity’s Glenda Spooner Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre. Their specialist team kept her warm and provided round-the-clock feeding and veterinary care.
Senior Groom Steph said: “Holly was very weak and spent a lot of time lying down at first. She was underweight, very quiet, and really quite unwell. It was clear that she wouldn’t have survived much longer out there on her own. Holly had a painful skin condition called rainscald all across her face, on her ears, the fronts of her legs, and right across her back. She just didn’t have the strength to fight off the infection. We didn’t want to clip her too quickly (which would allow us to treat her skin as effectively as possible) in case she got cold and became more unwell.
“We had three abandoned foals come into our care at Glenda Spooner Farm last year. They need expert care around the clock – we feed them every two hours and they get extra veterinary support to make sure that they’re getting everything they need. Since Holly has been with us, she’s become much brighter and she’s growing very quickly. It’s apparent that she’s turned a corner and we’re hopeful she’ll make a full recovery.”
Holly’s story is sadly not an isolated case and against a background of cost-of-living increases, it costs even more to care for and rehabilitate each horse, like Holly.