Vets ‘overwhelmed’ by public who have taken Gizmo to their heart

A four month-old foal is in a critical condition after he was found dying by the side of the road in Essex.


The RSPCA was called after Gizmo, a tiny piebald cob, was found without his mother near Ridgewell Caravan Park in Yeldham Road, Ridgewell in Halstead in an emaciated, extremely poorly state on Tuesday (17 February).

Along with the police and a vet, vet nurse and yard manager from nearby Catley Cross Veterinary Clinic, we attended and took him into care where he is now fighting for his life. A short Facebook appeal has received an overwhelming response from the public, who have all rung the centre to help.

As well as being extremely underweight, he was riddled with lice, has redworm, was hypothermic, dehydrated and has since been found to have pneumonia.

RSPCA inspector Sarah Elmy said: “Poor Gizmo was just abandoned without his mum and left to die by the side of the road.

“He was so weak he was just collapsed and couldn’t – and still can’t – stand, and you can see every bone in his body, he’s so thin. We had to carry him to the van on a rug.

“He was so keen to live, though, bless him. Even though he was lying flat out, he was trying to reach forward and crawl himself along the ground to get to grass. As soon as we propped him up he was nibbling, trying to eat from our hand. It was so heartbreaking.

“I just really hope he pulls through. He’s certainly trying his best.”


Veterinary surgeon Carolyn Wise said: “It is touch and go at the moment – Gizmo is walking a fine line.

“But he is eating and trying to live so we have everything crossed he will pull through – he is such a lovely foal. He has melted all our hearts.

“It seems we are not the only ones as we have been overwhelmed by people phoning us wanting to help, after we put up a short appeal on our Facebook page.

“We are so grateful for such a heartwarming response – it just shows you how much people care.”

Gizmo’s story is sadly not uncommon. The country is currently in the grip of a horse crisis with the RSPCA and other horse welfare charities struggling to cope with the numbers of abandoned, neglected and abused horses.

The RSPCA alone has more than 600 horses in its care and receives about 500 complaints relating to horse welfare every week.

Those wanting to donate towards Gizmo’s care should call 0300 123 0346 or visit

Any surplus funds will be used for the rescue and treatment of other equines in a similar situation.

Anyone with any information about how Gizmo came to be dumped so callously like this should call 0300 123 8018.