Did you know that, much like our own fingernails and toenails, horse hooves need to be trimmed every few weeks if they don't live in the wild on rocky terrain?
Unfortunately for one neglected Shetland pony, his owner either didn't know or just didn't care, because when volunteers from the Animaux en Péril animal sanctuary in Belgium got to him, his hooves were so overgrown that he could barely walk.
Rescuers came to help the pony as soon as they became aware of his situation, but seeing his condition left them stunned and likely broke their hearts.
His hooves hadn't been trimmed for around 10 years, literally spiraling out of control and making it extremely difficult for the poor thing to get around. “In 24 years of existence, our refuge has never hosted an equine with hooves so long,” a representative for the sanctuary said.
Unfortunately, he and another horse found with him were malnourished and severely underweight. They had also been standing on a two-foot high pile of manure.
After taking the neglected animals back to the sanctuary, volunteers worked hard to free the pony they'd later name Poly from his overgrown hooves.
“It is impossible to imagine the distress of the last few years, the omnipresent suffering, the hunger that gnaws and disintegrates, the torture of itching, the confinement in the impenetrable air,” the sanctuary added. “Under torture, time is infinite.”
Luckily, this sweet little guy wouldn't have to suffer any longer.
With the awful burden of those long hooves gone, Poly got a much-needed haircut. The other horse, Everest, received plenty of love and care as well.
When his rescuers finished with him, Poly was a new and much happier guy!
It's hard to believe this is the same creature they found in such bad shape. Now he has a new lease on life!
(via Honest To Paws)