Round-the-clock care for orphaned foal Ava

Laura White
Laura White

An orphaned foal whose mum died on Dartmoor is being cared for by the Mare & Foal Sanctuary and the charity’s kind and dedicated staff are working tirelessly to give little Ava round-the-clock care.

The tiny foal, who is just a few weeks old, was found alone and terrified near the village of Lee Moor and it has become a race against time to keep her alive. Worried Lee Moor residents initially called local charity Hill Pony Resources, who managed to bring the foal in off the moor and monitor her overnight. But, as a small team run completely by volunteers and with a yard full to capacity, they felt Ava would have the best chance of survival at The Mare and Foal Sanctuary in Newton Abbot, which has a specialised veterinary and welfare centre, Beech Trees. The dedicated team at Beech Trees swung into action, trying to keep Ava calm with a giant teddy bear for comfort.But she’s not out of the woods yet.

Little Ava has been having breathing problems and she is being kept in quarantine, away from the charity’s other herds.

She is being fed every two hours and has undergone chest x-rays, as well as suffering a bout of mild colic. Head of Equine Sally Burton said: “We are doing everything we can to keep Ava comfortable. Losing her mother at such a young age would have caused her to deteriorate both physically and mentally. At just a few weeks old foals are reliant on their mother’s milk. So, we are feeding her every two hours around the clock. We’re all glad she was found and rescued. Now she just needs time and a lot of care.”

Because of Ava’s young age and fragile health, she is getting 24-hour care with the Sanctuary’s grooms taking it in turns to stay overnight and monitor CCTV cameras – and doing everything they can to comfort her. Ava is still undergoing tests, but with antibiotics and nutrient rich formula it is hoped she will soon turn a corner.

The Sanctuary is now planning regular updates on the progress of Ava on the charity’s website and Facebook pages.

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