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Friday, September 16, 2011

Prancing happily again: Horse neglected so badly he grew 12in hooves that turned up like Aladdin's slippers

Jerry piled on 20 stone after being overfed and could hardly walk

By Stephen Hull

What a turn up: Jerry was rescued from a field of cows where he had been overfed, which experts say is as cruel as underfeeding

For a long time, the idea of galloping with the breeze in his mane was just a dream for Jerry.

Overfed and neglected, the poor horse had piled on 20 stone and could barely walk.

And to make matters worse, his hooves had become so overgrown, they looked like Aladdin’s slippers.

Jerry was eventually rescued from a farm in Somerset, where he had been living with a herd of cows.

His hooves, which should have been trimmed every six to eight weeks, had been left for over two years.

‘Jerry's hooves measured 12 inches from heel to toe, and were turned up like Aladdin's slippers,’ said Joanne Vaughn, of HorseWorld, an equine rehabilitation centre.

He was discovered by horrified officials along with another overweight horse, JoJo, and the pair were given a combined weight loss target of 60 stone.

Six months on, Jerry has lost a staggering 18 stone and is down to 69 stone, while JoJo has shed 20 stone - the weight of an adult donkey - and is continuing to shed the pounds.

‘When most people think of animal cruelty, it's a lack of food that comes to mind.

'But as with children, overfeeding with the wrong types of food can be equally unkind.

‘The pain these animals went through is unthinkable. This was completely avoidable and an inexcusable case of neglect.’

Unrecognisable: Jerry is lean and happy after being cared for by an animal charity and having his hooves trimmed

Joanne added: ‘It was so upsetting to see them both trying to walk on their flipper-like feet.

‘Although our expert farrier managed to trim the vast majority of hoof back quite quickly, it will take a long time and specialist trimming for their hooves to become the right shape again.’

During treatment, X-rays showed how Jerry's hoof bones had rotated and dropped a
nd if they had been left, the bone could have penetrated through the sole of the hoof.

Both Jerry and JoJo have been taking painkillers each day for the last six months and JoJo has been wearing special shoes for support.



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