A pony had to be put to sleep after he was dumped in a field and left to die.
WARNING: some readers may find the following image distressing.
The animal was found collapsed in a field off Flaunden Hill, Flaunden, at around 8.30am yesterday morning (Thursday, January 21).
A member of the public called the RSPCA as the pony could not stand or move, and animal welfare officer Peter Warne went to the scene.
He said: “It doesn’t appear that the pony had been in the field on Wednesday afternoon so locals believe he may have been dumped overnight and left to die.
“The lock on the gate to the field had been broken.”
Police and a vet also attended the scene, but it was decided that the kindest thing to do was to put the pony to sleep to end his suffering.
Peter added: “It is unbelievable how someone could just cast this young pony away like a piece of rubbish and leave him to die and slow, painful death all alone in a field.
“This tragic situation is sadly one of many, involving dead or dying horses, the RSPCA has been called to help with.
“Unfortunately we are seeing more and more heartbreaking incidents involving neglected horses like this and it is extremely distressing for anyone to see.”
The country is currently in the grip of a horse crisis, with the RSPCA and other horse welfare charities struggling to cope with the numbers of abandoned, neglected and abused horses.
The charity says it is ‘stretched to breaking point’, with about 125 places at our equine centres and over 500 horses in care.
The RSPCA is appealing for information on how this pony came to be dumped in the field, or from anyone who thinks they may recognise him.
People with information should contact the charity’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.