Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - SAM TURNER

A THER­APY pony with a heart of gold is feared to have a po­ten­tially fa­tal med­i­cal con­di­tion, and she needs your help.

Shandy is a pony that has re­port­edly vis­ited pa­tients at the Mun­dub­bera Hospi­tal, com­fort­ing both aged care and ter­mi­nally ill res­i­dents.

Her owner, Con­nie McAl­lis­ter, said there seemed to be a block­age in Shandy’s stom­ach, caus­ing colic-like symp­toms.

“She had six days of treat­ment from the lo­cal vet and she hasn’t been any bet­ter,” Mrs McAl­lis­ter said.

“They think she has to go to an equine hospi­tal, where the best-case sce­nario is they find out what’s wrong and treat it with­out an op­er­a­tion, which is $2000.

“Worst case they’d have to op­er­ate, which is $10,000.”

Mrs McAl­lis­ter has owned Shandy since the pony was three. She’s now 10 and has a lot more liv­ing to do.

“She’s got an­other 10-15 years,” Mrs McAl­lis­ter said.

“It’s not like she’s an old pony who has had a good in­nings, she’s in the prime of her life.”

Af­ter be­gin­ning her job at the hospi­tal, Mrs McAl­lis­ter re­searched ar­ti­cles on the ben­e­fits of ther­apy ponies for pa­tients and pro­posed the idea of tak­ing Shandy in for vis­its.

“She’s an ex­cep­tional, trust­wor­thy, gen­tle an­i­mal who has the ideal tem­per­a­ment for a ther­apy horse,” she said.

“She’ll cud­dle them and she’ll walk up to the hospi­tal beds for those who can’t get up, and she’ll lean her head on them.

“It re­ally lifts the morale with the aged care (pa­tients), par­tic­u­larly those with a farm­ing back­ground, and with a ru­ral hospi­tal, most of the pa­tients do.”

Mrs McAl­lis­ter has al­ready spent $1000 on vet­eri­nary bills and she’s not sure what she’s go­ing to do.

“I can’t af­ford this op­er­a­tion, but it’s this or she’s go­ing to die.”

If you’d like to do­nate to Shandy’s op­er­a­tion, visit

Pic­ture: Wide Bay Hospi­tal and Health Ser­vice

SHANDY'S THER­APY HELP: Shandy the ther­apy pony in bet­ter health, vis­it­ing Hilda Payne on her 106th birth­day. They are pic­tured with op­er­a­tions man­ager Con­nie McAl­lis­ter, grand­son Liam and son Lind­say.

Pic­ture: Con­nie McAl­lis­ter

Shandy the pony on one of her vis­its to the hospi­tal.

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