We were alerted to the plight of an apparently severely neglected pony kept in a stable in the hills north of Velez-Malaga. The little chap (in his late teens) had curling overgrown hooves, a matted and filthy coat and there was no sign of food or water in his small enclosure. ARCH immediately contacted the environment and animal protection police SEPRONA who acted swiftly, once we confirmed we would take the pony. The little stallion, who has no papers, and (as yet) no name, was confiscated from his “owner” who had no license to keep equines for the premises. We arranged transport to the Centre and he arrived on a Friday evening. His little eyes lit up as he came out of the lorry and saw the other horses, particularly the mares! On the Saturday morning he was given his first bath, our volunteer Sofia spent over an hour getting the dirt out of his coat and removing the dead hair, as well as trimming his tail which dragged along the ground. He also had a visit from the vet who gave him a first assessment. We have arranged a full-scale check-up for this week. His feet will need to be x-rayed for the farrier to see any damage because of the overgrown hooves before they can be trimmed back.
Once again, we are faced with a case of almost unbelievable neglect. The owner was allowing children to ride him with his feet in such an appalling condition and appeared unaware of the need for veterinary care or visits from a farrier. ARCH with SEPRONA will be pursuing prosecution for animal cruelty.