Rescued Sheltand Pony ‘Saroo’ – an update

Saroo Kent Horse RescueYou may have seen the article in the Kent Messenger / KentOnLine on 8th January 2018 – ‘Shetland Pony Saroo, found neglected by Kent Horse Rescue…’ – so we felt we’d update you on this sad case and Saroo’s welfare…

Just around Christmas, a member of the public happened by chance to to turn into a commercial cul-de-sac near Erith, and saw a pony on industrial wasteland in a terrible state – covered in burrs, and without adequate water, shelter or food – the pony apparently dumped and neglected.

That caring and persistent member of the public, Kate,  immediately called a national Animal charity, and was told the case would be ‘put on the list’. When chasing up in the following days, she could not get any update or confirmation that any visit or action had been taken. Luckily for Saroo, Kate then found Kent Horse Rescue online…

… despite it now being New Years Eve, we attended the site confirming the shetland mare was still on the land, managed to find and contact the land owner, and gained their agreement to legally detain and remove the pony to a place of safety – where she is now – and on the long road to recovery. No calls were received from the abandonment notice so we assume now that’s exactly what she was – abandoned.

The veterinary examination puts Saroo at around 15 years old, and blood results confirm she was lucky to have been rescued; she has poor liver and kidney function, probably as a result of unhealthy diet, lack of water and worm burden. She is also being treated for encysted redworm, as well as eye infections (probably from scratching / irritation from the burrs). Around 1,000 burrs were removed from Saroo’s tail alone which was so heavy and tangled with seed pods that she was having difficulty urinating or passing stools.

Saroo Kent Horse RescueSaroo was also tested for pregnancy (a standard procedure for Kent Horse Rescue) particularly as she showed signs of bagging up and colostrum. The good news is that she is not pregnant (so her rehabilitation should be less problematic and hastier), but the sad news is that hormone levels suggest she may have been pregnant some 6 weeks ago – possibly she has slipped or miscarried her baby (or even given birth and it subsequently died).

Saroo’s case is not unique:

  • Two years ago we rescued two foals from similar wasteland, also covered in burrs and in a terrible state like Saroo – the owner was successfully prosecuted, and both foals rehomed after long journeys back to full health.
  • Last year (2017) we rescued three pregnant mares that would otherwise have died – each gave birth at our centre and are all doing well ! – one mare and filly foal have been rehomed – the other two mares and two colts doing well are will stay with us for the winter at least.

The Horse Crisis in Kent and beyond is not over by any means, and possibly is as bad as it ever was judging by the number of cases we hear about. Owners face increasing costs of owning a horse through the winter as their diets need supplementing. Hardy ponies cope much better but we are seeing an increase in the suffering of all breeds of horses from horse owners from many different walks of life.

Saroo Kent Horse RescueKent Horse Rescue are here to help whenever we are able – and we take action (legally) as quickly as we can, where others seem to lag when it comes to horses, however we do need Your support and donations to enable us to rescue more ponies like Saroo.

Anyone who needs to contact Kent Horse Rescue in an emergency or for advice should call 07922 310573 or email us from our website

For more on the charity and to support our work with a donation, visit its website at

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