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Nearly 40 horses need rehoming in Devon

Ant & Perky

Mare & Foal Sanctuary says it is nearly full.

A charity with 5 farms in Devon says it urgently needs to re-home horses. 

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary says it is nearly full to capacity after dealing with a rise in rescue and abandonment cases.

They charity says it has found ponies dumped on waste ground, busy industrial estates or left to breed leading to more and more ponies needing new homes, including 25 ponies taken off Bodmin Moor during a grazing crisis in 2017.

Senior Director of Equine, Syra Bowden, said: “We’re doing our best to take in as many as we can but we’re currently over-capacity at some of our yards.

“We can’t take any more ponies in until we have free stables. We have 38 ponies rehabilitated, retrained and ready for rehoming right now which will free up space for more to come in.

“When they come to us many have never been handled before and we have to start from the very beginning, getting them used to being touched, wearing a head collar, even being led.

“It’s a lengthy process but we need to make sure they are not only happy and healthy but, most importantly, safe. They have to be confident about anything the outside world might throw at them, from in hand shows to hacking or walking in the lanes, fancy dress competitions to a visit from the vet.”

The charity currently has more than 214 horses and ponies at its five Devon farms and a total of 38 waiting to go, with dozens more in training.

And with 459 on loan throughout the region the Sanctuary’s Equine Department is always busy making home visits and assisting loaners with advice on caring for their horse or pony.

The horses and ponies go to the Sanctuary for a variety of reasons but often they need a lot of care. 

Head groom Terri Carroll said: “They often arrive in really poor shape and terrified. They could have been orphaned because their mum was hit by a car on Dartmoor or dumped alone and terrified in a city car park. Sometimes it’s because someone is unable to cope with a herd that’s out of control.

“They arrive for all sorts of reasons, but they leave healthy, confident and eager to learn. I’ve seen so many bedraggled, sad looking ponies transform into great little companions or rosette winning county show champions.”

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