By Hayley Pugh
A Shetland pony was left with hooves so long he could barely walk after a DECADE of neglect.
The poor pony, who at just 70lbs weighed the same as a big dog, had hooves so long they had curled around at 540 degrees – something Animaux en Péril – the rescue centre who took him in – had never seen before.
The pony was discovered in a makeshift box shelter and is believed to have been trapped in there, stood on a two-foot heap of manure, for at least three months.
Hooves are supposed to be trimmed every few weeks but rescuers believe this pony hadn’t had his cut in over 10 years, resulting in their shockingly deformed appearance.
Staff at the sanctuary in Belgium were made aware of the horrific case when the owner decided to hand the neglected animal, along with another malnourished horse, into an animal welfare unit in Wallonia, Belgium.
Carers at Animaux en Péril then went onto to take the pair, now called Poly and Everest, into their care.
As well as twisted hooves, the Poly was found to have a coat covered with lice, deformed joints and a body index of one in five – the last stage before death by malnutrition.
Staff immediately trimmed and repaired Poly’s hooves and the pair were shampooed and sheared to get rid of any lice.
They are now recovering well and enjoying daily walks.
Marie-Laurence Hamaide, vice-president of Animaux en Péril, said: “We can tell you they are doing good right now.
“They eat well and they go out every day for walks, they had been locked away for three months before we took them in.
“We can’t wait to show them once they’re fully recovered.”