CAN YOU HELP SAVE THERAPY PONY?
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
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.
Shandy the pony on one of her visits to the hospital.