POOR Otto just hasn’t had a lot of luck in his life.

The miniature horse was tormented and abused before being abandoned by his owner.

He was then taken in by a good samaritan who tried to help him, but ended up making things worse.

Now the pint-sized stallion has been rescued by big-hearted workers at the Essex Horse and Pony Protection Society.

Bosses from the Pitsea - based sanctuary are being saddled with hundred of pounds worth of vets bills to make the piebald miniature shetland stallion better – cash the struggling charity barely has.

Otto, who is in his late teens was taken in by the society in a dire state from the back garden of a house in the borough where he’d been living.

Sue Allery, from the sanctuary, said: “A woman resident had taken him in and was keeping him in her garden.

“She was trying to do the right thing, but ended up making things worse as he was given the wrong things to eat, which has lead to him getting severe colic.

“The lady got involved after Otto’s owner knocked on her door and told her if she didn’t take him, he would dump him.

“She was concerned for Otto’s wellbeing, but she had absolutely no equine knowledge or experience. We would always ask people get in touch with us – not just keep horses in their gardens.”

The woman eventually called the sanctuary when Otto became very ill.

He was in such a state it, was thought he wouldn’t survive the short journey to the society’s base in Pitsea Hall Lane.

Sue said: “We are full to the brim and can’t take in any more horses. But we also couldn’t just leave Otto to die in agony.

“We are getting him the help he needs and are giving him the love he deserves.

“But we really need the public’s support. It costs £14,000 a month for us to keep going and we are struggling. We have to raise everything ourselves.

“Recently we’ve had a huge increase in the number of abandoned horses. Many have been cruelly treated by their owners. These people cause the problems and leave others to pick up the pieces.

“Otto used to be tormented by kids who jumped on his back.

“He’s a lovely pony and will make a brilliant companion once he’s back on his feet. We’ll get him there, but we can’t do it alone.”

l If you want to help Otto, log on to www.ehpps.org.uk