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ISPCA seizes 4 Shetland ponies and a foal from Co. Meath property

19 JULY 2018

Four Shetland ponies and one foal are in ISPCA care in Longford after they were found extremely underweight on a property in Co. Meath.

ISPCA Inspector Elaine Reynolds responded to a call from a member of the public and arrived on the lands in Dunboyne to find only a months-old bale of rotten and inedible silage in the ponies’ enclosure, indicating they had not had sufficient food for some time.

Inspector Elaine Reynolds said: “It is very unusual to see skinny Shetlands, especially this time of year, because they were bred to survive in tough conditions and live on sparse forage. But there was nothing around to eat when we found them, so it’s no surprise they were that thin. You could see the ribs quite clearly on two of them. They were so malnourished that once they were brought to the National Animal Centre they had to be introduced to food slowly, as refeeding syndrome was a concern.”

When the ponies were assessed at the NAC, three of them presented respiratory issues, including fluid in the lungs and an infrequent but persistent cough. They have been seen by a vet and continue to be treated and closely monitored.

Inspector Reynolds added: “They are all remarkably friendly considering the situation they were found in, and I am confident they will all make great pets once they are ready to be rehomed in coming months.”


The ISPCA intends to re-home the ponies in pairs where possible. The mare and foal are named Justine and Buster. The brown gelding is called Apollo, the skewbald mare is Boomer and the piebald mare is Starbuck.

An investigation to locate the ponies’ owner is ongoing.

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