Tink the Shetland pony finds happy home at Staunton Country Park after starring in RSPCA festive film

NEARLY 400 abandoned animals were reported to the RSPCA in the south east over last year’s Christmas period - but one neglected pony has found a fairytale ending.

Thursday, 26th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 26th December 2019, 6:05 am

In a real life rags-to-riches story, Tink the Shetland pony was rescued from neglect to become an internet sensation in the animal charity’s heartwarming festive film which racked up more than 190,000 online views.

The plucky pony stars as the lonely horse who dreams of being a reindeer in the festive appeal for Stock the Sleigh for the RSPCA, and has now landed another starring role - as a children’s therapy pony at Staunton Country Park.

She was spotted by the team at the park in Havant, who knew they could offer Tink the perfect home where she would thrive as well as be able to meet her adoring fans.

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Lisa Clark, education officer at Staunton Country Park, said: ‘Tink will spend this Christmas settling in properly to her new home and in the new year we’ll start introducing her slowly to learning to become a therapy pony.

‘Given her background being abandoned and rescued and coming through tough times after she was shown love and care, it’s particularly special she is now going to be giving back so much joy to people.’

Jo Storey, the inspector who rescued Tink, added: ‘She was stomach deep in mud in places and it was impossible to walk through the sticky, wet conditions.

‘It’s amazing that her Christmas wish has come true and she’s found such a lovely home.’

Tink before she was rescued, pictured belly-deep in mud after months of neglect

The video - called Santa’s Littlest Helper - was made in-house by the RSPCA’s broadcast team and stars staff and friends who gave up their own time for filming.

Hampshire saw 69 abandoned animals reported to the RSPCA’s cruelty line in December last year. Sadly, the charity is already caring for many animals abandoned around the country this festive season.

The RSPCA is urging people to help them care for animals spending the holiday season in its centres and hospitals with its Stock the Sleigh campaign, asking for help providing anything from food, medicine, to a warm blanket, treats and toys.

Visit rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness and watch your virtual gift fill up the sleigh with a grateful wag from Sprout the dog.

Tink pictured after she had been rescued by the RSPCA. Picture: Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA
Tink with her new friend Pudding at Staunton Country Park
Tink pictured in her new home with Liana Norman, farmstock ranger at Staunton Country Park