Monday, October 6, 2008

Anyone missing a pony???

I was at Cult Sinema [sic] at the Mu Meson Archives this evening, oblivious to the drama unfolding in my backyard. Unbeknownst to me my cousin Adam was desperately trying to get hold of me because he'd just spotted a pony causing traffic havoc down a main street near our place. Since I'm a vet, he assumed I'd know what to do. He walked the pony to our place and put it in the courtyard which wasn't exactly designed for housing horses. I arrived back from movies and to hear the thud of hooves on the deck. My husband had already coralled it onto our very tiny grass patch and fed it hay (we keep this in stock for the cavies we are fostering for the RSPCA).

So what does one do when one is presented with a stray horse on a long weekend? Great question. Turns out no one knows the answer. Not in the burbs, anyway. The "small" in "small animal veterinarian" actually refers to the range of species I treat, not how much my patients weigh. A St Bernard, for example, is a "small animal", a piglet is not. The practice I am based at is not equipped with a stable and we certainly don't have horse floats at our disposal.

I called Triple-O to try to get hold of the Mounted Police Unit, assuming they'd have a float and a place to bed a tired equine overnight. I was told that they could not help but not offered an alternative. I called the RSPCA but because resources are stretched they can only assist with injured animals. I called the local council, who paged the ranger. A polite but surprised bloke rang back and said whilst he'd love to help he was only equipped to transport dogs and cats, not horses or any other hoofed creature for that matter. An exhausted colleague on-call at a prestigious equine clinic said she couldn't do anything until morning, and maybe not even then. So I called the paper in the hope that they might put the word out. Obviously this pony is well loved. We've had mixed responses from the neighbours thus far: one popped over to take some photos for his family who might not believe him otherwise; the other threatened to call the police. As I type our temporary lodger is clicking up and down the deck. Its going to be a long night (we might all have long faces in the morning).

We'll keep you posted on this surreal little chapter as events unfold. We're hoping to reunite this pony back with its owners pronto. Meanwhile if you happen to read this and know someone in the Inner West who might be missing a pony, please call the police or Marrickville Council.