RSPCA officers and firefighters launched a rescue mission to free a pony who was stuck in a ditch over the weekend.
Essex Fire & Rescue Service and the RSPCA were called to a field off Marshfoot Road, Grays in Essex on 19 January after a member of the public spotted the little grey pony stuck at the bottom of a deep ditch.
RSPCA Inspector, Caroline Richardson, said: “It’s amazing that she was spotted as she was absolutely covered head to toe in mud and was neck-high in muddy water. You could just see her ears – which were the only part of her that were still grey.
“It’s total chance that she was found, and she was very lucky to have been spotted. She was freezing cold, shivering and clearly exhausted. We believe she may have been stuck in the ditch for days and, with the weather having turned so cold and wet, I don’t think she’d have survived much longer. She’s a very lucky little pony.”
The little Welsh pony – who staff have named Puddles – had apparently been straying in the area for three months. Staff believe she’s around 15 and are appealing to find her owners.
Fire crews managed to winch her up and out of the ditch before she was taken to vets for a check-up and a bath.
Puddles, who is around 11hh isn’t microchipped, so the RSPCA is now trying to trace her owner in the hopes of reuniting her with her family.
Inspector Richardson added: “I’d like to say a big thank you to the fire crew who did a great job retrieving her from the mud and, although she was a little stiff and terrified, incredibly she came out unharmed.
“She’s now having a well-deserved rest at the vets and will be cared for until we can trace her owners. We would love to find Puddles’ owners as she has clearly been on the run for quite some time. However, if no one comes forward to claim her then we’ll find her a loving new home.”
Anyone who recognises Puddles or believes her to belong to them should contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.