This Pony Was Barely Able Walk After 10 Years Of Neglect Left His Hooves Overgrown

10/4/2017

A neglected Shetland pony was foundin a 'nightmarish state' in Belgium, reports Animaux en Péril (Animals in Danger), a Belgian animal rescue association. The animal's hooves hadn't been trimmed in ten years, meaning that he was almost completely unable to walk.

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Source: Animaux en Péril

The pony, who has since been named Poly, was found along with another horse, Everest. The pair were kept in a small make shift shelter, purposely hidden away from the road, so that nobody would find the atrocious conditions that they wereliving in.Eventually, their owner decided to hand the two animals over to the authorities, after not caring forthem for almost a decade. Animaux en Péril were called, and they immediately came to take the horses away from their horrible situation.

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Source: Animaux en Péril

When they arrived, rescuers were completely shocked by their filthy stable and completely appalled by the state of the pony's hooves. They described in an online report:

We've seen our lot of neglected and overgrown hooves, sometimes with rotations of 180°, but the 540° (one and a half turns) spiral that we saw here was a shocking first in our 24 year career.
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Source: Animaux en Péril

Their first priority was to cut the dangerous hooves, in the hopes of helping Poly to walk. However, it was highly likely that his joints had already sufferedserious damage, and would take a very long time to recover.The horses were also extremely malnourished and completely emaciated. They weighed only 35% of the weight of a healthy horse, meaning that they were in a critical condition. The shelterknew that they had their work cut out for them to save these animals.

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Source: Animaux en Péril

They gave the Poly and Everest a deep clean, as their fur was covered in dirt and lice, and they started on the long road to recovery.Luckily, they are already doing much better, and the pony's hooves are slowly making progress. The pair are receiving the care that they so desperately needed, andwill continue to get stronger and stronger.

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Source: Animaux en Péril

As for their previous owners, the local authorities have two months to decide whether to prosecute on animal cruelty charges. If charges are pressed, the owner could face a fine, a prison sentence and a ban on owning animals.If you would like to follow their progress, you can visit the Animaux en Péril Facebook page, here.

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