WARNING: Graphic image shows dying foal found dumped on village footpath
A dying foal was found cruelly dumped on a popular footpath near Wakefield.
Inspector Kris Walker from the RSPCA was called out after dog walkers found the pony on a footpath on The Green, close to Sharlston Common, on May 6.
The kind walkers waited and comforted the pony until help arrived, but she was too ill to be saved. She is thought to have been just five-months-old.
Inspector Walker said: “This was such an upsetting discovery for these poor people, but it was so kind of them to wait with the pony until I arrived.
"When I saw the state she was in, I called a vet to come straight away. The pony had a couple of wounds on her body and face which were infested with maggots, and she was very thin and clearly malnourished.
"Sadly, when the vet examined her, the vet made the decision there and then to put her to sleep to end her suffering, as she just couldn’t be saved.
“This poor pony was clearly in desperate need of help, so the fact that instead, someone cruelly dumped her like this on a footpath to die, is heartbreaking.
"I’m appealing to anybody with information to contact me in complete confidence, by calling our inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018, where they can leave me a message.
“Sadly, as animal rescuers, we are called about dead, very sick, or sometimes even dying horses and ponies that have been dumped, just like this poor pony but as an animal lover and rescuer, it truly never gets any easier for me when I arrive at situations like this.
"It can be costly to dispose of the bodies of horses, prompting irresponsible owners to dump them in public places like this, often with pieces of rubbish too, leaving someone else to pick up the pieces.”
The charity took in more than 820 horses last year and received more than 20,000 calls about horses alone.
Over-breeding, the high costs of vet bills, the rising cost of hay and feed and falling demand for some types of horses have all contributed to the horse crisis which has left charities like the RSPCA struggling to cope.
The charity’s centres are full with hundreds of rescued horses and ponies, and many more are being cared for in private boarding stables or looked after by foster carers.
Anyone who may be able to offer a rescue horse a home can find out more by visiting www.rspca.org.uk/homesforhorses