JUST nine months ago Tink the pony was up to her stomach in mud, underweight and desperately hungry.

Now she is the face of a nationwide Christmas appeal and a video star:

The Shetland Pony has been chosen to be the focus of the RSPCA's Christmas video.

Originally from Dorset, Tink had been kept alone from other ponies and ignored, until she was found by the RSPCA in March this year.

She has since been cared for by the charity, but they are hoping she will have a new home in time for Christmas.

RSPCA inspector Jo Story found Tink stuck in a pool of deep mud, underweight and desperately hungry when she was called to visit the pony.

She said: "Tink was stomach deep in mud and it was impossible to walk through the sticky, wet conditions.

"There was no grass or additional food - all feeders were empty - and the field was covered in standing water. Tink had no straw or bedding and not even a comfortable resting area."

Members of the charity have witnessed Tink improving over the months and thriving in her new environment.

Jo said: "Her personality has come out and she is very dear to all our hearts. It really makes the job worthwhile when you can see an animal get a second chance at living life, and it’s even better that she will be helping other needy animals as the star of our Christmas video.”

Tink is being cared for in the RSPCA Lockwood centre in Godalming.

The Christmas video - made in-house by the RSPCA’s broadcast team and starring staff and friends who gave up their own time for filming - features a cover of Starship’s ‘Nothing’s gonna stop us now’ sung by RSPCA press officer Lucy Ellie.

Broadcast manager at the RSPCA, Alan Laxton said: "Hopefully it will inspire people to think of animals in need over the festive period and to feel that our gifts of kindness can really go a long way to changing their lives."

“Tink truly was a superstar on the day and hopefully her starring role in the video will lead to her finding a new home in time for Christmas."

On Christmas Day 2018 the charity received 934 calls to it’s cruelty line - the highest number for five years and a 28 percent increase compared with 2017.

The RSPCA Christmas campaign, Stock the Sleigh, will help the charity to deliver vital, life-saving supplies to suffering animals who desperately need their help.

To help the RSPCA care for thousands of animals left out in the cold this Christmas, visit:www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness