(Previously known as Midget)

A call came in from my equine vet in 2010, alerting me to a pony who needed lifesaving surgery and a new home.

Heavily pregnant, Midget’s mum was a displaced bushfire survivor. The kind-hearted, unsuspecting people who took her in did not know she was about to foal and came home one day to discover the tiny new arrival they later named Midget.

Unfortunately all was not right. Midget had been born with a cleft palate. In her case it meant that feed was going directly into her lungs. She would be prone to chest infections, and her condition could at any stage prove fatal.

Midget came to Gunyah to live just before her 1st birthday. There was cutting edge surgery that could be performed to help her, but it was very costly. At that stage the precision surgery had not been performed in Australia on a pony.

I managed to get a small article in the local paper, in the hope that someone may see it and be inspired to help with the cost. Back then social networking was in its infancy and we relied heavily on newspapers, magazines and TV in order to get the word out.

Amazingly that one small article created a frenzy, and before I knew it I was being contacted by media all over the country wanting to cover the story of Midget’s fight for life.

The frenzy left in its wake more than enough money to cover the lifesaving surgery. Even once the target was reached, people still wanted to help with the other rescue work that was going on here. Back then it was self-funded and had been so for a decade.

I went about setting up a charity, and the funds left over from the surgery went towards saving other animals in need.

Midget had her surgery the day before her 1st birthday. Back then the procedure had not been performed in Australia on a pony. The vet who conducted the surgery consulted with the U.S. vet who pioneered the surgery. Midget’s treatment and case study has since gone on to help many other ponies in need in this country.

On July 8th 2010, Gunyah Animal Healing Sanctuary Inc. was born, all thanks to one little pony who needed an urgent helping hand.