Why we need your help

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary was founded in 1988 by Rosemary Kind, who has rescued and looked after horses and ponies all her life. In 1992 the Sanctuary became a registered charity and we have since rescued nearly 1,000 foals, ponies and horses in the South West.  The Sanctuary’s aims are to rescue neglected, unwanted or abused horses and rehabilitate, train and eventually rehome them into loving, knowledgeable environments. We focus on educating people on the care and welfare of these beautiful creatures too, who as sentient beings, deserve our compassion and kindness.

We currently have 675 horses and ponies in our care with 223 living at our six sanctuaries in Devon and 452 in loan homes.

We need your help to care for horses like Ava

The tiny foal was just a few weeks old when she was found alone and terrified near the village of Lee Moor and it became a race against time to keep her alive.

Worried residents near Lee Moor had phoned another local charity, but with a yard full to capacity, they called us – knowing that at our top veterinary centre, Beech Trees, Ava stood the best chance of survival. They suspected her Mum had died colic, so Ava was left to fend for herself. She was dangerously underweight, weighing only 54 kilos when she arrived, and had been without milk for many days. When our vets first did a check up, they noticed symptoms of pneumonia, breathing issues, stomach and liver problems. We knew we had to act quickly.  

Our dedicated grooms worked 24 hours a day to make sure that Ava was safe and comfortable. Whilst our vets gave her the medication, routine and feeds she desperately needed. At such a young age we had no idea whether she would improve, but we continued to give her the best love and care that we could.  

Her blood tests continued to show irregularities and for months our team went through an emotional roller coaster as we watched Ava battle her illnesses. Feeds every two hours, chest xrays and bloods were made better for Ava with the company of a giant toy bear, affectionately named Ted.  

For nearly three months, every hour of every day was dedicated to making sure Ava was ok and hoping that she pulled through. She still has a way to go with her recovery but she is a fighter and she is now safe in our care for the rest of her life. 

The good news is that she now weighs a very healthy 116kg – more than twice her arrival weight – and is growing daily. Our vets, although still keeping a very close eye on her, are happy for her to be out in the field with friend Bambola and they have been settling in well together 

We have been given the opportunity to prepare a future full of love for Ava, something that we didn’t think was going to be possible. That’s down to the amazing support of people like you.