TWENTY-three abandoned ponies which faced being put down are today being saved from destruction by animal welfare carers.
The ponies, including a tiny Shetland stallion and a mare in foal, were abandoned in a remote field near Achonry, Co Sligo, before Christmas.
They were discovered in a distressed state by student vet Roisin Scully (18) and reported to the authorities.
Roisin, a student at UCD who lives in the area, and other neighbours have cared for the animals since the discovery on December 29.
Sligo County Council erected a notice saying it had impounded the animals. It wasn't possible at that stage to find them new homes as they could be a health risk and they weren't micro-chipped.
Now, officials from Animal Heaven Animal Rescue (AHAR) are on their way from their base near Killarney, Co Kerry, and they are expected to take the ponies away today.