There is an appeal for information after a pony was dumped in the backyard of a house last week.
The young colt, who was skinny and covered in mites, was left in the backyard of a grandmother's house, after her granddaughter responded to a request online. The 13-year old girl had seen an advert saying the colt would be destroyed if no one would give him a home.
The shocked grandmother, unsure what to do with the pony, contacted World Horse Welfare.
Wanting the pony to be assessed urgently, World Horse Welfare field officer Rachel Andrews asked RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin, who was closer to the site to attend.
After Inspector Melvin checked the horse over, World Horse Welfare arranged to transport him to a private boarding establishment.
Inspector Melvin said: “You couldn’t make this up! A 13-year-old girl responded to a plea on an online free ads site where a lady said she didn’t want the pony anymore and that he would be put to sleep if no one had him.
"She gave her nan’s address and the next thing that happened was a man just came along and dumped the pony there, no words of advice or anything like that - and leaving a very shocked nan.
“We don’t know where this poor pony came from but he clearly was not treated well before being abandoned.
“We have come to a dead end in trying to find out further information so we are appealing for anybody who can help us to get in touch.”
The pony, who has been named Mr Melvin Andrews, is now in the care of World Horse Welfare.
Rachel said she hopes that this incident is not the start of a new trend: “We’re seeing sick or young ponies being dumped and abandoned when their owners no longer want them, and it would be a worry if online free ad sites are used in this way.
"Many provide advice on the commitment required to take on a horse.
“Every horse and pony deserves responsible ownership, which includes responsible breeding, selling and rehoming.
"We’re just glad that Melvin the pony has settled in well at our Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre and has already shown himself to be lovely a little pony and we hope in time we can find him a good home.”
Anyone who has any information should call the RSPCA’s appeals line on 0300 123 8018 or World Horse Welfare at 08000 480 180.