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Last Updated: Thursday March 12 2009 12:12 GMT

Short sausage pony sparks rescues

Mayflower the shetland pony (Photo by Chris Ison/PA Wire)

A very small pony is causing lots of trouble for the emergency services in the south of England.

Southampton's fire and rescue service keeps getting 999 calls from worried members of the public saying they've spotted a pony stuck in mud!

Fire crews have been called out four times, only to find there isn't an animal in trouble at all.

The worried callers have just seen Mayflower, who is so short it looks like she's up to her knees in mud!

Anton Phillips from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service's animal rescue team said from a distance it looks like Mayflower is trapped because she is half the height of the other ponies.

Do YOU think it looks like Mayflower's stuck in mud?

Mr Phillips said the pony, who has been nicknamed Shorty, is a cross between a Shetland and a New Forest Pony, giving her a body shape like a "sausage-dog horse".

He added: "We have been called out several times for the animal now and it is getting a bit ridiculous."

The little pony is causing so much bother her owner is thinking of putting up signs to tell people she's not in any trouble.

And the animal rescue team is changing the way it operates in the area.

In future if they get a call, one animal expert will be sent to check out the situation, before the whole team is sent to the scene.