Firefighter Louise Ayley set off to help rescue a collapsed pony. Before the animal had even left the scene, she had offered to adopt him.
Ayley was among firefighters from Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s Animal Rescue Unit called in March to help British RSPCA staff lift the emaciated pony back to his feet in a West Kingsdown, where he had apparently been dumped.
RSPCA inspector Vikki Dawe said: “The skewbald pony, thought to be about a year old, was in a very poor condition, malnourished and full of worms. He had clearly suffered for some time and it was so sad to see an animal in such a sorry state.
“The brown and white pony was unable to get to his feet without support, yet appeared to be bright, alert and was clearly a fighter. So I asked for the fire service’s help to lift the stricken pony to his feet.”
Ayley and her Animal Rescue Unit colleagues from Faversham were quickly on the scene and used their specialist equipment to help. Before he was safely in the horse box, Ayley asked what would happen to him and promptly offered to adopt the pony once his rehabilitation was complete.
Rodney, as he is now named, spent two weeks being treated by a vet before being moved to an RSPCA rehabilitation centre.
Until recently, he did not have enough muscle mass so had to be helped up and supported, but Ayley was then able to take him home to Faversham to join her other horse, Zarby.
Ayley said: “I’d originally planned to call him Del Trotter, but he has such lanky long legs, so Rodney seemed more appropriate.
“He’s incredibly sweet, full of character and very cheeky. Rodney is still feeding four times a day, but getting much stronger and beginning to fill out. Everyone loves him, although he only has eyes for Zarby, despite the fact he only comes up to her belly”.