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The four ponies rescued by the ISPCA ISPCA

Four ponies rescued as ISPCA gets record no of equine distress calls

The organisation is appealing to owners to be “particularly vigilant” of their animals during the current cold snap.

FOUR PONIES SHOWING signs of severe neglect were rescued by the ISPCA recently in the Slieve Bloom area.

As it made the photos of the ponies public, the association said that it has received a high number of equine distress calls over the past two days during the bad weather conditions. In addition, over the past 18 days it has received a record number of 108 such calls.

The ISPCA is now asking animal owners to be vigilant during the current cold conditions, which can place horses, ponies and foals at risk.

Noel Griffin, CEO of the ISPCA said:

We would ask horse, pony and foal owners to be particularly vigilant of their animals during the current cold snap to avoid cases of unnecessary suffering arising. The ISPCA is offering advice to people to ensure animals are not placed at risk during the adverse weather conditions.
Horses and ponies require supplementary feeding in the winter months to allow them to maintain condition as there is no fresh grass growth. They need a constant supply of fresh water. Any ice forming on the water supply in cold weather must be broken.

Such animals must also have access to suitable shelter and rugs if necessary, while the requirements for farm animals are very much the same.

The ISPCA said it is available to take calls from concerned people relating to abandoned and neglected horses, ponies and foals on their cruelty helpline 1890 515 515.

However, it is finding funding difficult at the moment, so is also urging public support in the care of these animals. The ISPCA recently launched the Hay Drive appeal, which asks people to text HAY to 57802 to make a €3 donation or to go online online at to help.

Rescued ponies

Earlier this month, four neglected and ill ponies arrived into the care of the ISPCA. Mistletoe and Holly are two skewbald Shetland mares that were in need of remedial farrier treatment as their hooves had been severely neglected. They were also found to have laminitis, a particularly painful condition affecting the hooves, and needed emergency veterinary treatment.

Thankfully for the ponies, a local experienced volunteer was able to offer transport and emergency accommodation for them until they could be assessed and treated by a vet. Both mares had colt foals with them, who were also taken to safety and named Prancer and Dancer.

The two foals “are completely unhanded and will require time and expert handling to help them learn to trust humans and allow us to handle them”, said the ISPCA.

Following their treatment, both mares are making a good recovery and are now comfortable and out of pain. They will also need dental treatment when they have recovered sufficiently.

Said the ISPCA:

Mistletoe and Holly are quiet, gentle mares and will make wonderful friends and companions when recovered. Their sons Prancer and Dancer will be looking for new homes in the spring when they have settled down a bit and are gelded.

Images in slideshow may be distressing.

Four ponies rescued as ISPCA gets record no of equine distress calls
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  • Rescued ponies

  • Rescued pony

  • Hooves

Read: Increase in numbers of horses, ponies and foals abandoned in 2012>

Read: Call for centralised database as starving horses abandoned>

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