A pony has been rescued and rehomed with a new family after he was found collapsed in Belvedere “on the brink of death” just before Christmas last year.
The yearling, who was named Frosty by the RSPCA, was found terrified and exhausted at the bottom of a bank in Bexley, and rescue officers were left expecting the worse.
But 12 months and a “fantastic transofmration later”, the horse is now preparing for this Christmas with a brand new family.
Frosty was found by a concerned member of the public on December 18, 2019, after he had collapsed at the bottom of a bank off Norman Road, Belvedere, south east London.
The London Fire Brigade were called along with RSPCA animal rescue officer Lisa Miller, expecting the worse.
“When I arrived at the scene in Belvedere, London Fire Brigade had just arrived and we were quickly able to tell that the pony was in a perilous situation.
“Sadly we’re often called out to collapsed horses and find it’s too late and that they’ve died.
“It’s so dangerous when horses go down and can’t get back up as their internal organs can fail under the weight of their own bodies.
“Frosty had slipped down a muddy bank and was stuck, laying on his side, with his back legs caught around a tree and his front legs in the river.
“He’d been trying to get back to his feet and was exhausted; he was on the brink of death.”
The terrified animal had to be sedated to allow the team to carry out their emergency mission.
Straps were placed under Frosty, and the rescue team started to winch him up the bank.
“By this point, it was dark and raining so the poor pony was cold and we had to work quickly but carefully so as not to hurt him,” recalled Lisa.
“We eventually got him back to the top and got his sopping wet rug off of him.
“The fire brigade left and the vet and I stayed with him as he slowly came around.
“He was absolutely exhausted and we were worried that he wouldn’t recover from the ordeal but slowly he started to perk up and we eventually managed to heave him back up onto his feet.”
The pony was removed for further veterinary treatment, and he came into RSPCA care at Leybourne Animal Cetnre near Maidstone.
No owner ever came forward so it’s believed the poor horse was dumped.
Aim now was to rehome the recovering horse, but all rehoming was paused during the height of the coronavirus lockdown.
But Frosty left just after the RSPCA started up again. He joined a family living in Maidstone, Kent.
Debbie, husband Rob and four children renamed him Cash, and “welcomed him into their lives with open arms.”
The family also has a three-year-old Poochon dog called Poppy and a one-year-old tortoiseshell cat called Jessie.
Debbie said: “I’ve always been on the lookout for a horse for my children and when I saw Cash on the RSPCA website, I just knew he was the one for us.
“Due to lockdown, I actually thought he’d already been adopted as his advert was taken off-line, but after speaking to one of the grooms there, she confirmed he was still available.
“He came to us on 12 May this year and I managed to keep it a secret from my youngest three children, so when we went to the yard I surprised them with Cash.
“He’s a very sweet and quiet boy, who had a terrible start to life but has definitely won the lottery with us!
“He’s treated like a king and rightly so. He lives out in a herd and has paired up with a little three-year-old cob which is so lovely to see.
“Cash will be thoroughly spoilt for Christmas but then again, every day is like Christmas for him now!”
RSPCA’s Lisa added that it was “fantastic to see what a transformation Cash has been through.”
“I’m delighted to see him in his new forever home.
“I have to admit that there were a few points where I wasn’t sure whether he was going to make it but he’s proved he’s a little fighter. He’s a Christmas miracle!”
Last Christmas Day, there were 893 equines in our care and 70 rescued throughout December.
The RSPCA say donating just £25 could help keep our Animal Rescue Teams on the road, you can donate here.