Rescue foal battles for survival after becoming victim of horrific arson attack


A seven-week-old rescue foal is battling for his life at a horse sanctuary after apparently becoming the victim of an brutal arson attack.

Tiny Phoenix, shown here with his burns and in bandages, was found near Sevenoaks in Kent and taken to Lingfield Equine Vets in Surrey for emergency care on August 3.

There was no sign of his mother at the scene, but when the vet was treating the colt the true extent of his awful injuries became apparent.

There were burns across the whole of one side of his body, meaning most of his foal hair and his mane were destroyed.

The little one has been left with painful sores.

Phoenix is now being treated by Redwings Horse Sanctuary which rescues abandoned, mistreated and neglected horses and donkeys from across the country, offering veterinary treatment, rehabilitation and care.

Nic de Brauwere, Head of Welfare & Behaviour, said: “It’s heart-breaking that anyone would target any animal, but particularly such an innocent foal with such a barbaric act of cruelty.

“Luckily, he ended up at Lingfield who have given him every chance to survive. Phoenix’s condition was very touch and go for a few days, but he started to respond to treatment – his progress no doubt helped by his strong little character and the affection and skill of his carers at Lingfield.

Phoenix has burns along one side of his body
Phoenix has burns along one side of his body

“Even if he pulled through his initial treatment, it was clear he would need to be somewhere that could provide long-term intensive care, as well as a new permanent home, so we were only too happy to help.

“We decided to fund his treatment at Lingfield, and only once he was strong enough to cope well with the journey, was he carefully transported to the Redwings Horse Hospital by our team.”

Although the foal is in healing hands, he is still being watched 24 hours a day in the intensive care unit stables at the Norwich Redwings headquarters.

According to the sanctuary, a mare named Mildred who is a full-time resident is in the neighbouring stable to offer company and help to mother Phoenix in the absence of his own.

Senior Veterinary Surgeon Nicky Jarvis, Head of Veterinary Services, said: “His skin will take an extensive amount of time to heal and we expect him to be left with a lot of scarring.

“His burns cover the whole left side of his body, including his legs, and they’re obviously very painful as he struggles to lie down in his stable.

Phoenix is stable but still needs intensive medical treatment
Phoenix is stable but still needs intensive medical treatment

“Our focus now is making sure his wounds are cleaned and dressed frequently and to help ease his discomfort with pain relief, which is happening around-the-clock thanks to the dedication of our wonderful vets and nurses here at Redwings.

“Phoenix still has a long way to go – while his condition is stable, he is certainly not out of the woods yet – but happily he is eating and drinking well, he appears alert and is super-friendly despite his ordeal. We’re keeping all our fingers crossed for him.”

Redwings is funded entirely by donations from the public. To support little Phoenix in his recovery, you can text RESCUE 20 to 70085 to donate £20 (texts cost the donation amount plus one standard rate message), call 01508 481000 or click here to find out more.

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