Published: 00:01, 08 January 2018
A pony found dumped, neglected, and starving on New Year’s Eve is now on the road to recovery.
Saroo, a 15-year-old Shetland pony, was taken in by Kent Horse Rescue near Tonbridge after being discovered abandoned in a field in Erith by a member of the public.
A welfare officer at the charity, who wished to keep her identity and the location of Saroo secret for fear of repercussions from owners, said: “Saroo was starving and thirsty and there was about an inch of rain water solidified with leaves in her tub. She had about 3,000 burrs all over her.
“We just cried when we saw her. It makes me feel gravely disappointed in the human race.”
Around 1,000 burrs, or seed cases, were removed from Saroo’s tail alone. The officer said it was so heavy and tangled with seed pods that she was unable to urinate or pass stools.
She was found to have an eye infection and carers believe she may also be pregnant and are awaiting test results.
"It makes me feel gravely disappointed in the human race" - welfare officer
The charity, which was set up in 2015 and rescued 31 horses last year, wants Saroo’s case to help raise awareness of the struggle it faces at this time of year as the cost of feed and care increases.
The officer said: “Owners face increasing costs of owning a horse through the winter as their diets need supplementing.
“Hardy ponies cope much better but we are seeing an increase in the suffering of all breeds of horses from horse owners from different walks of life.”
Anyone who needs to contact Kent Horse Rescue in an emergency or for advice should call 07922 310573.
For more on the charity and to support its work with a donation, visit its website at www.kenthorserescue.org