Staff at Ferne Animal Sanctuary in Wambrook, Chard, Somerset have every reason to be excited as they have recently witnessed Betty, an abandoned coloured pony, give birth to her first beautiful foal, Vera.
Nikki Haddock, Head of Equine said: “We’ve never had a foal born here before. Vera’s birth was wonderful. It was very easy and straightforward and unusually, during the day. Births like this are normally at night, when there are fewer predators around and more privacy.
“Everyone here absolutely adores Vera. She’s very cheeky and already very independent. It’s a joy to see that she’s feeding and developing so well, is such a happy little person and starting to eat her mum’s food. Betty is being a wonderful mum.”
Mum Betty, only three years old herself, was one of a group of 15 abandoned coloured ponies. She has only been resident at Ferne for three months.
Nikki said: “Betty arrived at Ferne eight months pregnant and with rain scald – a very unpleasant skin condition caused by being left outside with insufficient shelter from the weather – lice, worms and overgrown feet. She was very poorly, in pain and not being fed. Luckily, she still had three months of her 11 month pregnancy to go before her foal was born, so we managed to sort her out and get some nutrition into her.”
All the abandoned horses at Ferne are named after famous fashion designers. Mum Betty was named after Betty Jackson and baby foal Vera after Vera Wang.
“Recent statistics from collaboration between the largest animal welfare charities shockingly show there is a massive problem with abandoned ponies in this country with approximately 7,000 on the ‘at risk’ list” stated Nikki.
“Both Betty and Vera need new homes. Vera’s ideal home would be with someone who is experienced with foals, young horses and their development. She needs to be with another foal so that she has someone to play with.
“Betty would make a fabulous child’s pony – but she also needs someone who is experienced with young horses. We’d be delighted to hear from anyone who is interested.
“When Betty and Vera eventually leave us for their new homes, we will all be very sad. But as much as we love them, it will make room for others.”
Ferne Animal Sanctuary recently launched their £1m project “New Digs for Dogs” to build a new enhanced kennel block, improved grooming and veterinary care room, information hub, social unit, offices, reception and purpose built rehoming centre at their site in Somerset.
Fundraising packs for the appeal and details of how to donate can be obtained by calling Ferne Animal Sanctuary on 01460 65214 or by visiting www.ferneanimalsanctuary.org