Neglected pony that 'looked dead' when it was found lying in mud covered in painful sores is now healthy and thriving after being rescued

A pony that was thought to be dead when it was rescued from a muddy building site is now healthy and thriving, heartwarming photos reveal. 

The pony, named Heidi, was found 'exhausted' and covered in painful sores after volunteers from the RSPCA were called to a building site in County Durham in April 2018, in what was later described as one of the worst cases of neglect they had seen.

Two years later and Heidi is now thriving and healthy.

A  Here 4 Horses spokesman described Heidi's journey. She explained that Heidi was 'emaciated, filthy and exhausted' when she was found at the building site after being abandoned. 

The team of volunteers, which included rescuers from charity Here 4 Horses, found Heidi with horrific pressure sores all over her body and her bones were visible underneath her shrunken skin.   

She also had 'dangerously low' protein levels in her blood because of her starved state and so needed a blood transfusion.

Heidi was then given 7l of blood from two healthy horses and placed on a drip. 

Specially-made pads were also needed to cover her pressure sores, which took a long time to heal because of where they were on her body.

However, she was initially reluctant to lie down again during her recovery because of her fear of not being able to get back up again. 

But after encouragement she was able to lie down once again and started to look brighter after being put on a re-feeding programme to help her gain weight.

Soon Heidi was strong enough to get to her feet unaided and began to move around her stable more. 

By August 2019, the pony was a picture of health after a long road to recovery.