Our wonderful grooms give round-the-clock care to orphaned foal Ava
We have rushed to the aid of an orphaned foal whose mum died on Dartmoor – and our kind and dedicated staff are working tirelessly to give little Ava round the clock care.
The tiny foal, who is just a few weeks old, was found alone and terrified near the village of Lee Moor and it has become a race against time to keep her alive.
Worried Lee Moor residents initially called local charity Hill Pony Resources, who managed to bring the foal in off the moor and monitor her overnight.
But, as a small team run completely by volunteers and with a yard full to capacity, they felt Ava would have the best chance of survival at our specialised veterinary and welfare centre, Beech Trees.
The dedicated team at Beech Trees swung into action, trying to keep Ava calm with a giant teddy bear for comfort.
But she’s not out of the woods yet.
Little Ava has been having breathing problems and she is being kept in quarantine, away from the charity’s other herds.
She is being fed every two hours and has had chest x-rays, as well as suffering a bout of mild colic.
Head of Equine Sally Burton said: “We are doing everything we can to keep Ava comfortable. Losing her mother at such a young age would have caused her to deteriorate both physically and mentally.
“At just a few weeks old foals are reliant on their mother’s milk. So, we are feeding her every two hours around the clock. We’re all glad she was found and rescued. Now she just needs time and a lot of care.”
Because of Ava’s young age and fragile health, she is getting 24-hour care with our grooms taking it in turns to stay overnight and monitor CCTV cameras – and doing everything they can to comfort her.
But even now, when every instinct is to hold and bottle feed her, boundaries have to be set to make sure she has a chance of finding a loving home in the future.
Quarantine Manager Nicola Weall said: “She is being bottle fed as we don’t hand rear. The bottles are attached to a feeder so she can help herself. It’s important she doesn’t associate us with her milk.
“We also set boundaries while handling her. We don’t want her to think it’s ok to try to climb all over us. Being overly affectionate to a foal can cause behavioural issues. When they get a lot bigger it can, in fact, prove dangerous.”