Sanctuary's pony home appeal
A PONY charity which is running at 'full capacity' has issued an urgent appeal for homes for equines.
The Mare and Foal Sanctuary says it desperately needs people to re-home ponies because it is 'bursting at the seams'.
The charity called on land owners and horse owners for their help in providing loving homes for rescued horses and ponies.
The Mare and Foal Sanctuary, a registered equine charity, is dedicated to horse and pony rescue and rehabilitation.
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It was founded in 1988 by Rosemary Kind, who has rescued and looked after horses and ponies all her life.
In 1992 the sanctuary became a registered charity and has since rescued and found homes for a large number of ponies.
As well as its main base at Honeysuckle Farm, Newton Abbot, it has a visitor centre in Totnes and 10 charity shops across South and East Devon.
It has around 280 horses and ponies in its care at its sites and rehomed with carers across the South West at any one time.
Sanctuary equine manager Sally Burton said: "There are so many horses and ponies in need of rescuing in the region we are now bursting at the seams.
"While we wish we could take on every horse or pony referred to us, we can only do so as and when space is freed up here through another one being rehomed.
"We have horses and ponies of all ages and breeds able to go on loan to good homes on an ongoing basis," says Sally.
"While some are well-suited to being companions to your existing horses or ponies, many are ideal for riding and some have become successful at pony club and other events.
"A great deal of time and expertise is dedicated to ensuring they have received the right veterinary care, attention and training and our relationship with the carer doesn't end once the horse or pony is rehomed.
"We continue to carry out home visits and health checks and provide free advice whenever it is needed."
One pony looking for a new home is Fenton. The four-year-old Dartmoor Hill Pony arrived at the sanctuary in spring with two other ponies. All three had lice and liver issues.
After months of veterinary treatment and care, he has been given a clean bill of health and training has begun to prepare him for rehoming.
Stable hand Lindsey Stride said: "At first he was quite nervous and was really hard to catch, but he has come on really quickly. He is taking small but important steps towards one day being able to become a child's pony. He has such a lovely personality."
To offer a home for Fenton or other ponies call the sanctuary on 01626 355969 or 01803 866615 or visit www.mareandfoal.org
The Mare and Foal Sanctuary is holding an open day at its visitor centre, Coombe Park, Littlehempston, between 10am and 4pm on Sunday. Admission is free. There will be demonstrations, stalls and trade stands, a bouncy castle and face-painting and a chance to meet some of the horses and ponies looking for new homes.