A little pony which suffered horrific full-body burns after being deliberately set on fire has been dressed in colourful bandages by vets to help speed up his recovery.
Phoenix the foal, who is just three months old, almost died when his tiny body was burnt to a crisp in a “barbaric act of cruelty” last month.
He now has to be fully bandaged to prevent infection – with new dressing needed every two days – which has prompted vets to get creative with his bandages.
Phoenix has donned adorable superman, ladybird and rainbow designs, prompting an outpouring of support from teary-eyed supporters on social media.
Pam Coulson commented on Facebook: “Bless him he’s a very special boy looks great in his bandages.
“Bless you for your care, speedy wishes Phoenix.xxx”
Joan Mccue added: “He might not be able to fly but little Phoenix is truly a super hero xxx ❤️❤️❤️”
A horrified passerby discovered poor Phoenix on a roadside in Kent on August 3, when it was believed he was set alight in a sick arson attack.
He was later rushed to Redwings Horse Sanctury in Hapton, Norfolk, where vets have introduced Phoenix to his ‘foster mum’ Mildred, a black and white mare who has started caring for the injured horse.
Nicola Knight, communications manager at Redwings, said: “It’s very early days still but clinically Phoenix seems to be much stronger and is an absolute sweetheart, so our vet team are completely smitten!
“He is getting on well with his new foster mum Mildred and has been having some turnout in the field each day which he really seems to enjoy.”
Phoenix still needs round-the-clock care, including daily blood tests, and vets are considering skin grafts to save his charred body.
Redwings Horse Sanctuary said it has been flooded with donations and gifts since Phoenix’s horrific story came to light last month.
Nicola added: “We’ve been inundated with donations, cards and presents and the public have really taken him to their hearts; so we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been in touch, it really means such a lot to us.”
Commenting on Phoenix’s case last month, a spokesperson for Redwings said that the horse hospital had “never seen anything this bad”.
She added: “It’s about as bad as it can get for a foal before you start thinking about its quality of life.”
It is understood that Kent Police were informed of the alleged arson incident but no arrests were made.