'Heartbroken' owners of animal therapy business face selling pets as land goes on sale

A Hampshire family who runs an animal therapy business is facing the heart-breaking decision to sell its pets after the land they rent was put up for sale.

The Pony Pals Family, run by Caroline Seignot in Liphook, provides animal therapy for schools, care homes, hospitals and prisons.

The business faced uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic when they were no longer allowed to take their animals to therapy sessions. This led to the decision to sell two of their ponies along with the horsebox and the closing of the horse side of the business.

However, despite videos providing The Pony Pals Family with viral hits, they now face the prospect of having to sell some of their animals due to their paddock and grazing area being sold.

Caroline has said: "We have always been fortunate to rent grazing, but this gives us an unstable future as it always comes to an end with reasons outside of our control.

Our rented stables are now being sold, and along with the animal’s home, all our hard work too.

The Pony Pals Family provides animal therapy for schools, care homes, hospitals and prisons.

"It's hard to find a suitable paddock for the animals, we need stock netting for the sheep, small paddocks to exclude the risk of laminitis to the pony and donkey and hard standing and shelter as donkeys are not waterproof, especially their hooves.

"We have been searching for somewhere affordable and close to home to rent, but we can't find something suitable."

The family are now looking to buy premises of their own with money raised through Crowdfunding.

As well as space for horses, donkeys and sheep, land is also needed for Florence the duck, Maggie and Betty the chickens, Bunty the rabbit, Pansy, Lily, Rosie, Marigold, Poppy and Maple the guinea pigs and Jennifer the dog.

Ms Seignot's daughter Verity, 4, has raised more than £7,000 for charities by partaking in sponsored horse rides and 5km runs with Hugo the sheep.

Speaking about her daughter's connection with the animals, Caroline stated: "If our lifestyle changes, she won't have the opportunity to continue to nurture it.

"The animals have taught her so much, and the animals in her later life will be thankful of the skills that she gained from such a young age. "I don't want my children's lifestyle to change simply because of money."