A pony which collapsed in a Lidl car park has been returned to its owners, despite an animal sanctuary offering to buy the poorly pony.
Footage and images captured by horse lover Nadine Williams were shared online, and show the pony – nicknamed Gary by wellwishers – covered in sores, with a gash on the top of its head and cuts around its mouth.
The footage posted online was enough to spur Sandra Kvaerneng Stolp from the Swansea-based Whispering Willows Sanctuary into action.
She travelled the 150 miles to Deeside in North Wales to try and save the young male pony, and agreed to buy him from the owner for £2,000, Wales Online reports.
By the time she got to Deeside on Thursday she was told the colt had been taken to a vet by the RSPCA.
"We go above and beyond to help animals," Sandra said.
"It doesn't matter if they are in North Wales. But the owner told us the RSPCA had called and bought a vet out and the poor pony needed treatment.
"We said we would still buy the pony, and were totally prepared to pay all the vets bills."
In just 24 hours, Whispering Willows had doubled it's following on Facebook as people donated money and added their support.
The vet's bill had already topped £750 and the vet had confirmed Gary would require on-going treatment.
"We went back to the owner to negotiate the price," said Miss Stolp.
"But he wanted £2,000 or said the horse could stay where it was."
Without enough money to cover the price of the pony and the mounting vets bills, Miss Stolp is hoping that as the video goes viral, more people will donate which will allow her to bring Gary back to the Whispering Willows Sanctuary.
Next Saturday, she plans to head back to Deeside for the 300 mile round trip to bring Gary home with her.
In response to public concern about the animal, a spokeswoman for the RSPCA has said it has investigated.
She said: "We have been looking into concerns about the Queensferry horse for several days. Our officers have visited several times and have also taken independent vets to assess the pony.
"We are unable to give any further details about this incident for legal reasons. That doesn’t mean we are ignoring the situation and we can assure you, we take all allegations of cruelty or neglect seriously."
The spokeswoman added: "The RSPCA has no more powers than members of the public to remove animals and we have to work within the law at all times. An animal can only be legally removed from an owner when they have been seized by police.
"The horse had to go back to his legal owner, by law."
Gary is one of two ponies that Whispering Willows has been called on to rescue over the Easter long weekend. The animal sanctuary was called on by police to rescue another pony who had collapsed in the heat , seemingly abandoned outside of Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
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