Tiny two-year-old miniature Shetland pony Hamish just about invented the word cute, but even that is no defence against the harsh realities of neglect.
But fortune is now smiling on the little fellow, who will be settling into his new home with The Horse Trust in Britain for Christmas. The Buckinghamshire charity is promising Hamish a home for life.
Hamish was found in a field in Bedfordshire on November 17 by off-duty RSPCA animal collection officer Kate Wright.
He had a serious injury to his hind leg which left him in excruciating pain and barely able to move.
Hamish could not be transported as he could not put any weight on his injured leg, so the RSPCA cared for him until he was well enough to be taken to the Royal Veterinary College’s Equine Hospital.
There, his vets discovered the appalling extent of his injury. Hamish had a fractured pelvis. The Horse Trust stepped in to help fund Hamish’s emergency veterinary care and has since pledged to provide him with a safe home for the rest of his life.
After a battery of tests by orthopaedic specialists at the college, Hamish’s vets are confident he has a good chance of recovery and will in time be free of pain. But he has a long battle ahead of him.
His injured pelvis will take many months to heal. Amazingly, despite his terrible ordeal and the pain of his injury, Hamish is a very sweet natured and affectionate pony and loves cuddles and scratches.
No-one knows who Hamish’s owners were or why they so heartlessly threw him out and left him alone and in agonising pain.
The charity says Hamish is just another sad victim of the national horse crisis – one of thousands of horses, ponies and donkeys who will be left without care this winter.
The trust’s chief executive, Jeanette Allen, said: “This is an all too common tale of a colt being thrown out because he was not perfect.
“We are a nation of animal lovers but there are sadly some owners who are all too willing to leave a pony like Hamish to suffer alone rather than provide the care they need, or to give them the kindness of a peaceful end if that is in their best interest.
“As Christmas approaches we ask everyone who can to please spare a few pounds to help Hamish and other horses like him who are struggling to survive this winter.”
Want to help The Horse Trust? Visit www.horsetrust.org.uk or call 01494 488464 to help Hamish now.