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Joy at animal sanctuary as neglected horse gives birth to foal

PUBLISHED: 06:30 20 May 2015 | UPDATED: 08:32 20 May 2015

Sheila, a rescue horse, has given birth to a healthy foal, Jason, at Hillside Animal Sanctuary.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Sheila, a rescue horse, has given birth to a healthy foal, Jason, at Hillside Animal Sanctuary. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2015

Dejected and in a terrible condition, Sheila the horse should have been the picture of glowing health as an expectant mum.

Sheila was in a poor state when she was taken in by Hillside Animal SanctuarySheila was in a poor state when she was taken in by Hillside Animal Sanctuary

Instead the neglected pregnant mare’s ribs were clearly visible when she arrived at Hillside Animal Sanctuary in March.

But now, after a couple of months of love, care and attention, Sheila has given birth to an adorable colt foal, who has been named Jason, and looks a world away from how she was just a few short weeks ago.

Wendy Valentine, who runs Frettenham-based Hillside, said: “She’s such a loving mare. If I was a foal I would want her as my mum, she’s so kind and gentle.”

“She came in with a herd from a stray horse pound and most were in a poor condition.

“Sheila was one of the worst. She was so dejected, but she’s doing really well now.”

The charity has taken in more than 300 horses over the last year, but has only re-homed around two to three of those, as many are not the sort of horses that most people would want to own.

Hillside currently cares for a staggering 1,200 horses, ponies and donkeys, 300 cows, 500 sheep and 70 dogs.

In summer the charity hires grazing land on the marshes next to the Acle Straight. Mrs Valentine says most of the horses motorists can see from the road, except the Shires, belong to Hillside.

As well as donations to help pay for the upkeep and care of all the animals, the charity is also appealing for a few extra things.

It needs an old touring type caravan for its staff to use on the farm, as well as old towels for use with the animals, old blankets and duvets for its rescued dogs’ bedding and second hand outdoor horse rugs in a usable condition and in various sizes.

To donate, visit www.hillside.org.uk or call 01603 736200.

Do you have an animal story for us? Call reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772474.

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