Little George, or affectionately known as Georgie, was brought to us along with his friend Clifford, from a small charity in Devon. Originally, George’s elderly owner could no longer give him and his other horses the proper care they needed and so surrendered them to Hugs Foundation.
Unfortunately, Hugs discovered they had an outbreak of strangles at their site and after getting local vets in to scope their herd, it was this sweet little Shetland who was found to be the carrier of this very nasty bacteria. With the regular vet callouts and extra care and time keeping the rest of the herd free from infection, it was too much for a small charity to take on, so they reached out to us.
The decision was made to keep this duo together for companionship as their treatment plan was not to be a short process and they are highly bonded and nervous to handle.
Thankfully, after a lot of hard work from our team, with treatments and dedicated care, eventually all the strangles bacteria were removed. This proved extremely difficult as George is so tiny, but we are very lucky to have expert veterinary care onsite. After a second clear test in January 2023, our hard-working vet team confirmed both ponies strangles free!
Our Knowledge & Skills team continues to visit the pair 3 times a day for approach and retreat training, to attempt to build up some trust. George has a very sweet nature and our team is doing all they can to bring this adorable little pony out of his shell.
There’s still a way to go in developing his confidence so he can be relaxed for handling and get him settled into a long and happy life with us.