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December 2023


Welfare Case

Friend, Shadow

Darth Vader Before

Darth Vader After

Darth Vader is one of nine equines who was rescued from a small family business run as a community interest company hosting pony parties and claiming to provide equine-assisted therapy sessions for vulnerable people.

When Darth Vader was rescued, his overall condition was extremely poor. His coat was crusted and riddled with lice, his hooves were overgrown, and he was suffering from painful conjunctivitis. His demeanour was dull, and he appeared to have no energy, showing the extent of his suffering.

He was given a body condition score of 1.5 out of 5 meaning he was underweight. He began a careful re-feeding schedule to make sure his digestive system could cope. He also needed his eyes cleaned and eye drops four times a day.

Darth Vader’s feet were radiographed so the farrier could see how much hoof was safe to remove without causing Darth any discomfort.

He put on weight and has started to show his sweet character. Darth has a huge personality, despite his small stature. He can still be wary with the vet and farrier and is undergoing training with our behaviour team so he can begin to associate this with good again. He is slowly getting there but is still quite nervous and he has just started veterinary training, as he is showing signs of distress around needles. We are working closely with Darth to ensure he recovers at his own pace.

Darth Vader is the smallest of the seven rescue Shetlands and gets along very well with his herd (especially Shadow who always stays by his side during his training). When he gets fed, he likes a little roll which is brilliant to see! We are so proud of Darth Vader’s bravery and progress so far.

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