FUNDING to treat a record number of rescue horses being care for by the RSPCA at its Lockwood Centre, in Witley, will be boosted by the proceeds from a Christmas Fair, at Milford Village Hall, this weekend.

Reilly, a Clydesdale, is the largest horse the centre has ever taken in, and has been nursed back to health but now needs a new home.

Aged 18, and standing just over 17 hands high, he was rescued as part of a prosecution case at the beginning of the year along with four other badly neglected horses.

They were discovered in filthy stables, underweight and suffering from various untreated medical problems. Reilly, who has been used as a driving horse in the past, has arthritis in his hind legs.

He is looking for a companion or retirement home with other horses to enjoy a peaceful retirement.

The Lockwood Centre took in a herd of five feral Shetland ponies from Wales in June, that had been abandoned for several years on moorland. They were petrified of people and were covered in lice and needed worming and vaccinations.

The staff worked very gently with them to get them used to being caught, groomed and able to wear a head collar and they are now ready to be re-homed.

The five mares are aged between two and four and are called Curly Wurly, Twirl, Treacle, Fondant and Nutella.

Centre manager Anna Hemmings said: “We are still struggling with the equine crisis in the UK, and are receiving at least two calls every week from owners who can no longer afford to care for their horse.

“We have over 55 horses and ponies at the centre and always have a waiting list of abandoned and neglected horses and ponies waiting to come into our care.

“We currently have 24 donkeys at the centre. Miffy the donkey will be going to Milford Christmas Fair, along with her foal Elmo.

“We hope lots of people will come along to the event in support of local RSPCA animals in need.

“Visitors can meet and greet Miffy and Elmo and have their photos taken with them. We will have lots of stalls, games, refreshments and activities for children.”

The fair takes place tomorrow (Saturday) between 10am and 4pm.

Unusually, the centre now has a rescue pig.

Anna added:?“Piwi the Vietnamese pot belly pig came to us via a RSPCA inspector after he had been found by a dog walker abandoned in the woods.

“Abandoned pigs are becoming increasingly common, because piglets are being sold for small sums of money as ‘micro pigs’ to people who do not realise how big they will grow and how much outdoor space they will need.

“Piwi is believed to be three to four months old and will be looking for a new home soon where he can live with other pigs.”