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Blind Norwich pony given gift of sight

PUBLISHED: 06:00 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:13 02 July 2010

Morris the pony, whose sight has been restored, thanks to two animal charities.

Morris the pony, whose sight has been restored, thanks to two animal charities.

Kim Briscoe

An abandoned blind pony rescued from a yard in Norwich has been given the gift of sight thanks to two animal charities.

An abandoned blind pony rescued from a yard in Norwich has been given the gift of sight thanks to two animal charities.

Morris, a Welsh Section C, was taken in by the Horse Rescue Fund in 2008 after his owner stopped looking after him.

On arrival at the Horse Rescue Fund's base in Toft Monks, near Beccles, Morris was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes.

An appeal to raise funds to pay for Morris to have his cataracts removed was launched and by the end of 2009, more than £5,000 had been donated, enabling the pony to have his much needed surgery.

His first eye was operated on by Animal Health Trust (AHT) vets in November 2008. The cataract was removed and a synthetic lens placed inside the eye. A year later, members and supporters of the Horse Rescue Fund had raised almost enough money to enable Morris to have his second cataract removed.

Sue Albone, of the Horse Rescue Fund, said: “People have been very generous. We almost raised enough money to give Morris full sight so I contacted the AHT to see if there was anyway they could help.”

Due to the nature of Morris's case and the fact that the Horse Rescue Fund had raised so much towards the cost of the operation, the Animal Health Trust agreed to cover any additional costs of his treatment using its Deserving Cases Fund.

David Donaldson, head of equine ophthalmology at the AHT, said: “The Deserving Cases Fund was started by the AHT's ophthalmology team and cases like Morris show just how important it is.

“Being able to offer our skills and experience to other animal charities is very rewarding because often the animals they're looking after are the ones who have been treated badly and so desperately need our help. We're pleased we're able to improve their lives.”

Morris, whose full name is Felinmor Morris Dancer and who was a driving pony in his earlier years, came back to the AHT over the Christmas period and had cataract surgery on his second eye. He now has sight in both eyes and is rehabilitating at the Horse Rescue Fund.

Sue Albone, added: “We're very grateful to the AHT for their help. Morris hasn't had a great time over the last few years but now he has his sight back he's reforming into a very cheeky chappy. Without the AHT, he'd still be blind and his future would look very bleak.”

The appeal to raise money for Morris' operations was taken to heart by children in Norfolk and Suffolk. Children from the Happisburgh area were among those who joined in the fundraising efforts and donated £250 after holding a tombola, raffle, table top sale and coffee morning.

Anyone wishing to make donations to the Horse Rescue Fund for Morris's continued care or to the AHT's Deserving Cases Fund can do so at the respective websites at www.horserescuefund.org.uk or www.aht.org.uk

Do you have a charity success story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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