No one could ever prepare for the sight the volunteers of the British Horse Society faced upon arriving at a building site in East Durham, England.
It was there where they found Heidi, a pony thought to be dead in the midst of squalor. But after her body was seen breathing, the volunteers realized they’d encountered one of the most severe cases of neglect they’d ever seen and acted immediately
“The decision was made to give her a chance and it took five people to lift her to her feet,” said the spokesperson of Here 4 Horses Equine Charity
Heidi’s incredible road to recovery was then documented in a series of videos that prove what a fighter this little girl has been. Let’s take a look at Heidi’s inspiring transformation down below, which is impossible not to shed a tear (or to cry a whole river) for.
After the BHS volunteer arrived at the site, he was horrified to see what he thought was a dead horse
Wendy, horse welfare and education specialist who started the charity, said that Heidi was found in the most appalling condition.
“When rescuers turned up, they met with a knacker man who had been called by the owner to come and collect her body,” she told us and added, “Whether he thought she was already dead is irrelevant—she had been subject to the most awful suffering.”
But the rescue crew made a decision to give the little pony a chance
Heidi was considered to be critically ill, unable to stand or walk. “The early days were touch and go, as we dealt with her serious weakness and such a low blood protein level that a plasma transfusion was required,” Wendy recounted. It took more than 5 weeks for the pony to be able to stand by herself.
Heidi was placed on a drip for plasma transfusion since her blood test showed she was emaciated.Several liters of blood were donated by healthy horses
During the treatment, the pony had to wear padded dressings and the Here4Horses team “had to be innovative, adapting several pairs of leggings into shorts to help keep her pressure sores from further damage.”
But it was not a steady and easy recovery. Wendy said “Too many sores, worms, parasites, and infections had been given time to take hold and it took months and months to get Heidi well enough to run free in our pastures.” Essentially, Heidi has a feisty character, which the team believes was essential to her recovery.
After the pony got emergency treatment, her long road to recovery started
Wendy said that Heidi was on the extreme side of neglect and cruelty and the Here4Horses team sees cases like this once or twice a year. “Whilst we do see this level of harm and illness all too often, it is plain and simple cruelty or ignorance of horse knowledge and care or how to properly meet their needs.”
The wounds thankfully began to heal
And after a long time, Heidi began to look brighter
After some time, she regained weight
And Heidi’s happy spirit and shiny curls were all over the place!