Delight as Dolly wins fight for life

Dolly, today, looking fit and healthy
Dolly, today, looking fit and healthy

A COLLAPSED horse which was found rotting to death in a field has been helped back on her feet by a Hailsham animal charity.

Dolly the two-year-old cob had been abandoned in a tiny enclosure on waste-ground without food or water and was discovered just hours from death.

Dolly when she was found in a dreadful condition

Dolly when she was found in a dreadful condition

The starving horse was so weak in her enclosure in south east London and had developed pressure sores all over her body because she was unable to stand.

Luckily, Dolly was rescued by Happy Endings animal charity after being spotted by a concerned member of the public and against the odds has battled her way back to health.

Chris Johns, co-founder of Happy Endings, said, “I have never seen a horse so close to death as Dolly.

“If we had got there a couple of hours later I don’t think she would be alive now.

“Over the years I have seen some pretty awful examples of human cruelty, but I was shocked and devastated when we laid eyes on this poor little pony.

“She was so weak she was just laying on the ground, she barely had the energy to lift her head.

“She had pressure sores all over her head and body where she had been laying in her own filth and the stench of decomposing flesh was unbearable.

“She had literally been left to rot to death with no food and no water.”

Desperately weak, Dolly was carefully lifted in a sling into the back of the trailer and driven two hours to a leading equine hospital near Lewes.

Against the odds, the weak and emaciated horse made it through the night and after a full check over it was discovered that, apart from being extremely underweight and having infected pressure sores, she had no other health conditions.

The rescue centre embarked on an intensive recovery programme, spending £1,000 on dressings alone.

It is thought Dolly could have been dumped weeks before she was spotted by a member of the public and was just hours from death when she was rescued by Happy Endings.

Vet Karl Holliman said, “Amazingly despite the horrific cruelty Dolly has endured she is so affectionate and gentle. Sadly her story is not unusual. Every year during the cold winter months, horses across the country are abandoned in fields and left to succumb to the cold and slowly starve to death.

“We’ve taken in more than 20 horses alone in the past 12 months purely because people cannot afford to keep them or they simply don’t care enough to look after them.”

Happy Endings Animal Rescue charity was founded four years ago by Chris Johns and Terry Kemp who self-fund the centre along with donations from the public. To help the charity or find out more call Chris on 07809 721309 or Terry on 07821 318241. Information can also be found at