Rescued: October 10, 2010
One autumn day we received an urgent call from Almoradí police to rescue two miniature ponies. Armed officers accompanied us to the scene, urging us to hurry as it was a dangerous situation – we needed to get the ponies out quickly before their owners returned.
We found the minis, who we later named Napoleon and Nelson, in a terrible state of starvation. What’s more, across a narrow pathway we unexpectedly found another two starving horses tied up – young Jacob and his mum Sophia, already pregnant with another foal. (She later gave birth at our rescue centre to a healthy filly, who we named Katy-Rose.)
We had only expected to rescue the two minis, but thankfully, a volunteer had accompanied us with a transit van. We quickly loaded the big horses into our waiting horse trailer and the minis into the back of the transit van. An unconventional solution, but it did the job!
Concerned about repercussions from the horses’ owners, police advised us to place Nelson, Napoleon, Sophia and Jacob in hiding for several months until they gained enough weight to be less recognisable.
However, we very quickly had to bring Nelson to our centre, as he was in such a dreadful state that he needed urgent specialist veterinary treatment.
Nelson was extremely dehydrated, malnourished and covered in ticks and fleas. But worst of all, he had a severe and very painful eye infection, caused by thorn that had actually pierced his right eye. It had gone untreated, causing the eye to wither and dry up like a prune.
The only option left open to our equine veterinarian Dorothea was to surgically remove Nelson’s eye, freeing him from pain and allowing the eye socket to heal properly. We also castrated Nelson, as we do with all stallion rescues.
Over time, Nelson made an excellent recovery. He is a very strong little horse and is turned out every day with our other miniatures.
Nelson very quickly paired up with sweet little Magic, who we had rescued from almost certain death a year earlier. Funnily enough, Magic lost her right eye, too! This little one-eyed pair of ponies are now always together, a beautiful and long-lasting friendship that continues to flourish today.
As a non-profit foundation staffed almost entirely by volunteers, we rely on your donations to continue our work to save ponies like Nelson, and to cover their ongoing feeding and care costs. Find out how you can help here.