Shetland pony Tink was found by the RSPCA alone and up to her tummy in a muddy, wet field – but is now thriving in the charity’s care.
Tink’s story of triumph over adversity has seen her chosen as the star of the charity’s Christmas video for their festive appeal ‘Stock the Sleigh for the RSPCA’.
In the video, Tiny stars as the little pony who dreams of being a reindeer at Christmas, slipping out of her stable to deliver gifts of care and love to her fellow rescue creatures.
When RSPCA inspector Jo Story was called to visit the pony, she found her stuck in a pool of deep mud, underweight and desperately hungry. Tink, originally from Dorset, had been kept alone and ignored – away from other ponies.
Sadly no one would take responsibility for Tink so it was assumed she had been abandoned by her owner.
Jo said: “She was stomach deep in mud in places and it was impossible to walk through the sticky, wet conditions.
“It was most noticeable along the fence-line which divided her paddock from the main field, suggesting she had been pacing up and down the boundary line.
“There was no grass or additional food – all feeders were empty – and the field was covered in standing water. Tink had no straw or bedding and not even a comfortable resting area.
“Knowing her background, it is so lovely to see her now really thriving. Her personality has come out and she is very dear to all our hearts.
“It really makes the job worthwhile when you can see an animal really get a second chance at living life, and it’s even better that she will be helping other needy animals as the star of our Christmas video.”
Patricia Spargo is the manager at RSPCA Lockwood, in Godalming where Tink is being cared for. She added: “Tink has such a strong personality. She constantly makes us all laugh as she is so expressive and you can just see what she is thinking all over her face.
“She’s a typical Shetland in that she loves her food but gains weight very easily, so we’ve had to be quite strict with her.
“It’s so great that we’ve been able to shine a light on the important work of our inspectors and carers at the centre who have worked tirelessly to get Tink back to a place of health and happiness.”
The video – made in-house by the RSPCA’s broadcast team, and starring staff and friends who gave up their own time for filming – features a cover of Starship’s ‘Nothing’s gonna stop us now’, sung by RSPCA press officer Lucy Ellie.
Broadcast manager at the RSPCA Alan Laxton said: “I am so proud of all the hard work that has gone into making this video.
“Hopefully it will inspire people to think of animals in need over the festive period and to feel that our gifts of kindness can really go a long way to changing their lives. Tink truly was a superstar on the day and hopefully her starring role in the video will lead to her finding a new home in time for Christmas.”
The RSPCA expects more than 10,000 vulnerable animals, like Tink, to be taken in by the RSPCA over the winter months, in desperate need of medicines, food, warmth and loving care.
RSPCA inspectors, animal welfare officers, and animal centre staff work 365 days a year to care for animals and Christmas is no exception. On Christmas day in 2018 the charity received 934 calls to it’s cruelty line – the highest number for five years and a 28 percent increase compared with 2017. The RSPCA’s Christmas campaign, Stock the Sleigh will help the charity to deliver vital, life-saving supplies to suffering animals who desperately need help. If you wish to help the RSPCA care for thousands of animals left out in the cold this Christmas, you can support online.