The Shetland Pony that was dragged behind a car on Christmas day and suffered horrific injuries to his legs and hooves made his first public appearance at the Mitavite Qld Festival of Dressage on July 2nd 2011.
Named Elf by RSPCA staff, he was brought to RSPCA’s Fairfield Shelter by an RSPCA Inspector and was later transferred to Redlands Veterinary Clinic where he received specialised equine treatment for nearly a month.
He has now been officially adopted by another charity called… wait for it…ELF! (Equine Learning for Futures.), that develops and implements equine based educational programs for disadvantaged youths and children. The charity uses horses in the in the learning process to facilitate change, positive personal growth and promote positive self esteem.
“Learning to work effectively with a flight animal takes effort and personal responsibility but the rewards are empowerment and an ability to make healthy behaviour and hence life choices,” said ELF founder Jill Strachan. “Eventually Elf will become an integral part of our training programs. He’s settled in extremely well and we’re really excited about his appearance at the Festival.”
“In over 40 years as an equine veterinarian, I believe Elf is the toughest little horse I have ever seen,” said Dr David Lovell from the Redlands Veterinary Clinic. “He arrived with 4 different problems, any one of which, in another horse, could well have been enough to bring about their demise. Not Elf! He had severe shock, abrasion wounds to eight different joints that had gone through skin and joint capsule and exposed the actual joints. Plus, worst of all, the soles of both hind feet had been ground bare and he’d developed a terrible case of laminitis. Unbelievably, all conditions have dramatically improved and Elf should be able to anticipate many years of happy healthy life.”
“After all he’s been through, we’re all praying that this really will turn out to be the ultimate happy ending,” said RSPCA Qld Senior Veterinarian Dr Anne Chester.
The cruelty to Elf sparked nationwide outrage, as did the perceived levity of the sentences handed down to the two offenders.
Check out Elf’s Facebook page for more information: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elf-the-Little-Grey-Pony/149971091740480