When Dolly was discovered by a World Horse Welfare Field Officer in March 2017, she was emaciated, weak and struggling to survive whilst still taking care of her very young foal, Rocket.
Dolly’s body condition score was recorded as 1 out of 5, and it was clear she needed urgent veterinary attention. Her owner signed her over into World Horse Welfare’s care and she was transported to the safety of the charity’s Glenda Spooner Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Somerset.
View a video of Dolly and Rocket’s story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxSb9tBLUQ8&t=119s
Glenda Spooner Farm Supervisor, Grace Vooght, said:
“When Dolly first arrived she was very thin with all of her ribs and vertebrae clearly visible. When new horses come into our care they are always examined by our vet and routine blood tests are undertaken to ensure they are not suffering any underlying problems. When Dolly’s results came back it became apparent she was suffering from severe liver damage which could have been caused by a number of poisons.
“One of the most common causes of liver damage that we see is ragwort poisoning but without knowing her background, it was difficult to determine what had caused Dolly to be in such a terrible condition. The first step was to wean Rocket onto eating more independently so he was less reliant on Dolly’s milk, which worked well as he was quite a greedy foal. This allowed Dolly to put what little energy she had into repairing her damaged liver.
“Unfortunately Dolly’s condition didn’t seem to be improving and new blood tests showed that her liver was not repairing in the way it should be. We continued to monitor Dolly and provide her with all the nutrition she needed so she could bring up her young foal and it was very much touch and go as to whether she would survive.
“After a few months of dedicated care and attention, Dolly miraculously began to recover and her liver finally started to function properly, which amazed us all. Both ponies are now living out in their herds and have undertaken their handling training as well as learning to go into a trailer – all in preparation for them to find loving new homes on our rehoming scheme.
“Dolly’s recovery really is miraculous and I can’t wait to see both her and Rocket settled into happy new homes.”
Rocket has now been rehomed but Dolly is still waiting to find her new family.
You can apply to rehome Dolly here: https://rehoming.worldhorsewelfare.org/horseprofile/928
By rehoming a horse or pony from World Horse Welfare, not only will you receive full support and advice from the charity’s experienced team but each horse or pony also comes with a detailed health record and comprehensive, honest description of everything about them. In addition you always have the reassurance that if your circumstances change, you can return the horse or pony to World Horse Welfare at any time.
Rehoming not only gives a very special horse or pony the chance to reach their full potential but you are also enabling the charity to help more horses and ponies in need of help by freeing up much-needed space in its four Rescue and Rehoming Centres.