A miniature horse is trotting toward recovery

November 29, 2023

SOUTH MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A miniature horse is trotting toward recovery after being found abandoned near the western edge of the Florida Everglades.

“A Good Samaritan saw the mini horse running down the street and chasing after somebody else riding a horse,” said Laurie Waggoner, Director of Rescue Operations for South Florida SPCA. “He noticed he was running on a bloody nub and called 911.”

The South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals responded to a distress call from the Miami-Dade Agricultural Police on Wednesday morning and rescued the abandoned horse, found suffering from a suspected broken ankle.

“Because the leg is broken, the hood is pointing up [in the wrong direction],” said Waggoner.

The chestnut horse, named Tiny Tim by the rescuers, was discovered with a duct-taped ankle causing open wounds.

Abandoned miniature horse

“They just left [the duct tape] on there for weeks and it actually ended up biting into the healthy tissue that was there and caused even worse damage,” explained Waggoner.

Rescuers believe the ankle was fractured months ago.

“For several months, this little mini had to have been in complete agony. It breaks my heart to think of the suffering that he’s had to endure,” said Waggoner. “Judging by the amount of foot that has grown, I’m going to guess six months ago that this happened.”

Rescuers said the horse’s halter was too small, squeezing his face, and neglected teeth made proper eating difficult. Scarring around other ankles suggested a history of mistreatment.

“He’s obviously been fed but he was neglected in every other way,” said Waggoner. “[He] was totally betrayed by breaking his leg and not getting any medical attention.”

But now Tiny Tim has a wrap covering his broken ankle.

Upon arriving at the South Florida SPCA Rescue Ranch, Tiny Tim underwent an immediate veterinary assessment.

“The best day of this pony’s life was when he arrived at the South Florida SPCA,” said Dr. Richard Templeton, the attending veterinarian.

The pony’s wounds were cleaned and treated, revealing a subluxated and possibly broken ankle. X-rays will determine the full extent of the injury, and inquiries for prosthetics are already underway.

Despite his ordeal, Tiny Tim, estimated to be around 8 years old, is now receiving proper care at the South Florida SPCA Rescue Ranch.

SPCA officials said the horse will need surgery and will likely transition to a sanctuary for horses just like him.

South Florida SPCA will be accepting donations to help take care of Tiny Tim and help pay for his medical bills and surgery. For more information, click here.

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