Leading pet charity, Blue Cross, says it has seen a massive increase in the number of miniature ponies being bought on the hoof and later being abandoned at its equine centres across the UK.
The charity has reported a massive seven fold increase over the last
10 years in the number of Shetland type ponies coming through the doors
of its rehoming centres.
Like fashionable breeds of popular handbag dogs, Blue Cross believes
these small horses are being bought because people think they are easier
to look after. But owners don’t realise that these ponies, although
little, can be hard to handle and are a big responsibility.
Vicki Alford, Blue Cross horse rehoming manager explains: “This issue
is the equine equivalent to the handbag dog trend. Small ponies are
very popular with families who want to get their children a pet. But
despite their size, Shetlands can be very strong and require as much
care and management as any other large horse. When people can’t cope,
rescues like Blue Cross are left to pick up the pieces.”
Buttons and Smartie are just two of the 65 Shetland type ponies that
Blue Cross took in last year. The 17 year old ponies arrived at the
charity’s Burford rehoming centre after being abandoned by their owners.
They are now being cared for by the charity team until they are ready
to go to new homes.
Vicki Alford adds: “We would urge anyone thinking of getting a horse
or pony to give it serious thought and, like any pet, do lots of
research before making a commitment. There are lots of horses in rescue
centres, so please do pay Blue Cross a visit if you think you can help a
horse in need.”
Blue Cross rehomes over 8,000 pets every year and receives no
government funding. To find out more about Blue Cross and to give a pet a
home, visit www.bluecross.org.uk.