A PONY left with extensive facial burns in a suspected acid attack is beginning a “fairytale” new life after undergoing pioneering treatment.
Eight-month-old cob filly Cinders was found dumped in Clowne, Derbyshire, in April, with burns and tissue damage from her eyes to her nose caused by what is believed to have been a deliberate attack with a corrosive substance.
She was also malnourished and badly anaemic.
Now, after extensive veterinary treatment at a North Yorkshire equine hospital, she is being rehomed at a local country house.
David Rendle, the vet who has been leading her treatment at the Rainbow Equine Hospital in Malton, described it as a “fairytale ending”.
He said: “She will have a very comfortable life at a beautiful country house in North Yorkshire where she will be cared for by some amazing people who are well known to the team at Rainbow.
“The details of her new home will remain confidential at the request of her new owners.”
At the time of Cinders’ rescue, RSPCA inspector Keith Ellis said the injuries sustained by Cinders were "absolutely appalling, and the worst I've ever seen".
"Whatever the substance was has caused her skin to literally slew off of her face and head,” he said.
The attack sparked public outrage and the filly attracted an army of fans who helped to pay for her treatment through donations.
Her veterinary team gave their time for free, with the human burns unit at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield providing advice on how to treat the wounds.
An expert from the US even flew over to help oversee a world-first procedure for a horse - the use of burns dressings made from the skin of tilapia fish - as part of a three-hour operation.
Tilapia dressings were first used on human patients last year by doctors in Brazil looking for cost-effective methods of treating burns and California vet Jamie Peyton, of the University of California Davis, had adapted the process for animals.
Mr Rendle said they had got in touch with Dr Peyton about the technique and she ended up flying to to the UK to take part in the pioneering surgery.
Cinders has been recovering near the hospital and today went back for her final check-up before being rehomed.
Mr Rendle said: “Cinders has made a very good recovery, she has some scarring which has caused some minor distortion around her muzzle and eyelids but this doesn’t trouble her in any way.
“She is always bright, happy and is extremely cheeky.
“She loves human, equine, canine and ovine company and seems to have no issues around new people despite all she has been through. She has put on weight and has no long term effects from her ordeal.”
Any money left over from the £22,000 raised through crowdfunding will be used for other abandonment cases.