SOUTH SOMERSET NEWS: Toffee and Minty need new homes

SOUTH SOMERSET NEWS: Toffee and Minty need new homes

THE Ferne Animal Sanctuary near Chard was asked earlier this year to rescue two very unwell horses from a badly managed livery yard.

The four-year-old stallions had been confined to stables for three years and were severely malnourished, suffering from developmental problems, liver damage, UV intolerance, lice and dental problems.

Microchip testing revealed that the horses were not registered to the people who were keeping them.

They had been bought as yearlings under a payment plan that was defaulted on, leading to court proceedings and bailiffs being authorised to retrieve the horses. However, at that time the whereabouts of both the animals and owners were unknown.SOUTH SOMERSET NEWS: Toffee and Minty need new homes Photo 1

PHOTO - TOP: Minty and Toffee looking healthy at the Ferne Animal Sanctuary.

PHOTO - RIGHT: Toffee not looking so well when he was first with Ferne.

The horses come from an outstanding line of champions, showing that even if an animal begins its life with exceptional upbringing, a caring home and impressive pedigree; there is no immunity from this kind of subterfuge, neglect and abuse.

A member of the public visited the livery yard, noticed the appalling conditions and reported it to a local charity. The stallions were still registered with their former owner, who gave permission for them to be taken in by the Ferne Animal Sanctuary in April 2017.

“The poor boys were traumatised to be brought out into the light and the big wide world but they had no strength to put up an objection,” said Nikki Haddock, animal care manager at Ferne.

“We were able to load them into the transporter with the help of sweets we brought for the journey, hence their new names: Toffee and Minty.”SOUTH SOMERSET NEWS: Toffee and Minty need new homes Photo 2

The horses’ rightful owners decided that the best way forward was to sign them over, as it would have been dangerous to bring them home to a breeding farm with no quarantine facility.

PHOTO - RIGHT: Poor Minty when first taken in by Ferne Animal Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary could give the animals the intensive treatment they so desperately needed, slowly introducing them to daylight and outdoor paddocks and helping to improve their mobility day by day.

The beauty and character of the geldings is more apparent with every day as they gain strength and become healthier with the appropriate nutrition in the caring environment of the Sanctuary.

A Ferne spokesman said: “We are now looking to find loving homes for Toffee and Minty on a permanent loan basis. Their ideal owners would be lovers of the Arabian breed, experienced in educating young horses and be able to provide a suitable, safe environment.

“Toffee and Minty were the lucky ones, rescued and put on the Sanctuary’s rehoming scheme before it was too late.

“As a registered charity, Ferne relies on the support of the public and dedicated volunteers to continue its vital work. It has been caring for unwanted and abandoned animals for more than 75 years.” 

If you are interested to know more about these horse, please give the Sanctuary a call on 01460-65214.