It is incredible how much one animal can change after being rescued from a life of abuse and neglect.
There was a pony named Heidi who was living in horrific conditions. No animal should ever have to face such neglect.
It was a life and death situation, but the little pony proved that she had an undefeatable will to live, and the results of her transformation were astonishing.
Heidi was taken in by the staff of Here4Horses Equine Charity, after they received a disturbing call regarding a young horse that was living in squalor down in East Durham, England.
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Heidi’s owner had initially called and reported the pony as having been deceased. The owner requested a burial for the horse, but when rescuers arrived, they were shocked to discover that Heidi actually had a faint pulse and was barely breathing.
According to Good Morning America, a spokesperson for the nonprofit shared that the horse was living in what they described as one of the worse cases of abusive neglect that they’d ever witnessed.
Despite the horrors that the horse had been through, they still were able to give her a second chance at a happy life. But the road to recovery was not an easy one.
Heidi was so weak, she was not able to stand up on her own. In fact, she needed the assistance of five people to lift her to her feet and help get her out of her pen. The poor pony was completely starved. She was skin and bones, and her body was covered in open sores. Despite her inability to stand on her own, she was determined to survive and would often refuse to lay back down.
Someone for Here4Horses explained, “They don’t want to lie down again for many, many days, sometimes weeks, because we’re pretty convinced that they know they are not going to be able to get back up again.”
As a result, over the next 45 days Heidi had to be handled with care by the staff. They had to gently lift the horse up and down off the ground so that she could manage to sleep.
Her recovery was very shaky at the beginning, and everyone didn’t know what to expect. The poor horse had been suffering from starvation for so long, that she required blood transfusions from two other healthy horses in order to boost her protein levels in her blood back to the normal range.
None of the recovery was an easy process, which is why the rescue was so inspired by the young horse’s bravery and spirit. They shared with Good Morning America, “Right from the beginning she was a real fighter. We just thought it was worth the effort.”
Despite the uphill battle faced to get Heidi back to a healthy state, the rescue did not give up on her. They showed her round-the-clock care with plenty of love and kindness, and eventually, all their work began to show when Heidi started to transform back into a beautifully healthy horse.
She regained her strength and her energy, and so a much more playful side to her personality began to emerge. She even began to see a major difference in her mane and hair – she was a stunning horse!
The rescue called her “unrecognizable” after getting back to a healthy weight. They were definitely so proud of all the hurdles that she had overcome to beat death. They certainly believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was her strong will to live that kept her going towards recovery.
The rescue stated to GMA, “There’s no doubt about it. We’ve seen so many horses in similar situations that would never have made it off the building site. They would have been euthanized there and then because they’d given up. And she was as close to death as it gets.”
Heidi is staying with the rescue indefinitely, where they know she’ll be well cared for, according to their website.
It’s a true “Cinderella” story!
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