Happy ending for neglected Hope, the pony abandoned near Petworth

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The story of an emaciated pony, discovered at the side of the road near Petworth giving birth last year, has had a happy ending.

A rescuer from Norfolk who visited the RSPCA’s Lockwood Centre to rehome Buttons the Donkey fell in love with Hope and gave her a home too.

Hope and her foal Puddle needed intensive treatment at Liphook Equine Hospital for four weeks before arriving at the Lockwood Centre.

Just two years old Hope was very thin with overgrown hooves. She was too weak to give birth and too weak to produce milk.

Initially she rejected Puddle who was severely dehydrated with acute kidney failure.

Alice Robinson, Hope’s groom said: “She was in a terrible condition and had clearly been neglected for a long time. She didn’t trust anyone whereas Puddle was the opposite - more than happy with people being around her because she had partly been hand-fed substitute milk from humans while she was in care as Hope was too underweight to feed her.

“Once Puddle was weaned we were able to get near Hope, who was still very timid, and slowly but surely gain her trust.

“Over time she underwent an amazing transformation from this frightened, weak little pony to a sweet and loving girl who was ready for her forever home.”

And when Lisa heard Hope’s story she couldn’t resist giving her a home.

“It broke my heart to think what she has been through,” she said, “but at least she’s safe now. When I listened to Alice telling her story I was crying and that was it - I just had to take her!”

Lisa who also has another mare, two donkeys, geese and cats said Hope was very shy at first but has now learned to trust her. Puddle is still at RSPCA Lockwood looking for her happy ever after.

The middleweight cob is relatively easy to handle, said Alice: “She is affectionate and adores people and attention. She will need a home where she can live with other horses and an owner who has experience with sweet itch as Puddle can suffer quite badly. It is under control now but will need careful management.”

Anyone who can offer Puddle a home should contact RSPCA Lockwood on 0300 123 0720.

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