Neglected Harlow horse settles into her new home

News / Thu 24th Sep 2015 at 11:20am

Harlow Horse 1

Lara new home 3
Lara was found in April this year, tethered by a chain to a hillside in Harlow, Essex, close to death.

She weighed less than half of what she should have, with every bone in her body visible, and by the time the RSPCA arrived with the police and vets, Lara had almost collapsed. She was named after Lara Croft by the team from Catley Cross vets who treated her, as it was such a ‘mission’ to find her on the dark hillside where she had been callously abandoned.

Last month, just four months later, Lara moved into her new home with veterinary receptionist, Hannah Tottle, who describes her as a ‘special, loving horse who’ll be with me forever.’

RSPCA inspector Sam Garvey, who played a vital role in Lara’s rescue, said: “This was one of the worst cases I had ever seen, so I am absolutely thrilled the mission to save Lara is now complete and she has settled into her new home.

“I can remember being utterly shocked when we arrived that night to rescue her – she was just so thin, a complete bag of bones. She was just crouched there on that hillside, terrified and trembling, chained to a piece of scrubland with no food or water.

“I wish Lara lots of luck for the future, she well and truly deserves this loving home.”
The one year-old skewbald mare arrived at her new home in Great Wigborough, Essex just a few weeks ago, and after initially ignoring her new stable pals, Welsh sec C pony Honey and shetland Lily, they have now become firm friends.

Hannah, an employee at Catley Cross Veterinary Surgery in Halstead, Essex where Lara was nursed and cared for around the clock, said watching her recovery was inspiring: “The team at Catley put in so much hard work and they never gave up on Lara. It would have been so sad for her to have not had a chance, after such a bad start in life. I wanted to make sure she went on to have the life she deserved, so that’s when I decided to rehome her myself.”

Initially nervous about taking on such a young horse, Hannah was soon sure that she could offer Lara her forever home. She said: “She’s not your normal youngster.

Considering what she’s been through, she is so loving and sweet, she comes over when I call her and I trust her with my dogs and family. Even my husband, who is not horsey, is able to bring her in for me. That’s unusual for a one year-old horse as they can sometimes be naughty and skittish.”

Lara’s story is sadly not uncommon. The country is currently in the grip of a horse crisis with the RSPCA and other horse welfare charities struggling to cope with the numbers of abandoned, neglected and abused horses. The RSPCA alone has more than 500 horses in its care and receives more than 400 complaints relating to horse welfare every week.

Like Gizmo, an appeal concerning Lara received an overwhelming response with many people asking how they could help. Many are still making kind donations now to Lara’s Just Giving page.


Any surplus funds will be used for the rescue and treatment of other horses, ponies or donkeys in a similar situation.

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