Pony rescued on the 'brink of death' at Christmas now in his forever home
There were more than 800 equines in our care last Christmas Day.
A horse which was rescued after he was spotted collapsed on a muddy bank has now been rehomed to a family in Kent.
Found collapsed at the bottom of a bank
The yearling, who we named Frosty, was spotted by a concerned member of the public who contacted us and London Fire Brigade on 18 December after the horse had collapsed at the bottom of a bank off Norman Road, Belvedere, in London.
Our animal rescue officer Lisa Miller raced to the scene expecting the worst. She said:
Sadly we're often called out to collapsed horses and find it's too late and that they've died. It's so dangerous when horses go down and can't get back up as their internal organs can fail under the weight of their own bodies.
When I arrived at the scene in Belvedere, London Fire Brigade had just arrived and we were quickly able to tell that the pony was in a perilous situation.
He'd slipped down a muddy bank and was stuck, laying on his side, with his back legs caught around a tree and his front legs in the river. He'd been trying to get back to his feet and was exhausted; he was on the brink of death.
The pony had to be rescued as quickly as possible
The exhausted and terrified pony had to be sedated in order for the team to carry out the rescue mission. They were then able to get straps underneath Frosty and start to winch him up the bank.
By this point, it was dark and raining so the poor pony was cold and we had to work quickly but carefully so as not to hurt him. We eventually got him back to the top and got his sopping wet rug off of him.
The fire brigade left and the vet and I stayed with him as he slowly came around. He was absolutely exhausted and we were worried that he wouldn't recover from the ordeal but slowly he started to perk up and we eventually managed to heave him back up onto his feet.
We removed the pony for further veterinary treatment. No owner ever came forward so it's believed the poor horse was dumped. He came into our care at Leybourne Animal Centre near Maidstone.
A loving new home for the pony
In May, he was finally rehomed to Debbie Paine and her family. We had to pause all rehoming during the height of the Coronavirus lockdown so Frosty left just after we re-started our rehoming once more.
Debbie, who lives with her husband Rob and four children near Maidstone in Kent welcomed Frosty, who's now named Cash, into their lives with open arms.
I've always been on the lookout for a horse for my children and when I saw Cash on the RSPCA website, I just knew he was the one for us. Due to lockdown, I actually thought he'd already been adopted as his advert was taken off-line, but after speaking to one of the grooms there, she confirmed he was still available. He came to us on 12 May this year and I managed to keep it a secret from my youngest three children, so when we went to the yard I surprised them with Cash.
He's a very sweet and quiet boy, who had a terrible start to life but has definitely won the lottery with us! He's treated like a king and rightly so. He lives out in a herd and has paired up with a little three-year-old cob which is so lovely to see.
Cash will be thoroughly spoilt for Christmas but then again, every day is like Christmas for him now!
The family also has a three-year-old Poochon dog called Poppy and a one-year-old tortoiseshell cat called Jessie.
It's just fantastic to see what a transformation Cash has been through. I'm delighted to see him in his new forever home. I have to admit that there were a few points where I wasn't sure whether he was going to make it but he's proved he's a little fighter. He's a Christmas miracle!
Last Christmas Day, there were 893 equines in our care and 70 rescued throughout December.
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