The RSPCA is investigating after a foal was abandoned on a patch of land on the edge of London.
The charity was called out to the little skewbald who had been dumped in a field on Leatherhead Road in Chessington, Surrey.
Inspector Andrew Kirby, who responded to the call, said: “A member of the public had contacted the local branch who reported the pony to our emergency hotline and I went out to check on him on Saturday (21 August).
“He was tucked away on a patch of land and had obviously been put there deliberately. When I saw him for myself I was shocked. He was on his own and in a terrible state.
“It’s one of the worst states I’ve ever seen a pony in; his hooves were overgrown and cracked, he was really underweight and had awful skin. I think we got to him just in time; to be honest I’m amazed he’d survived so long.”
Inspector Kirby organised for the pony to be collected and he was taken to a local vet. He has since been moved to a private yard.
“The little one has been named Gerald and is very lucky,” said Mr Kirby. “Thankfully he’s doing well and I’m keeping everything crossed that he pulls through.
“I’d like to know who is responsible for allowing poor Gerald to get into such a state. He’s clearly not been properly looked after and has either been neglected or left there to fend for himself.
“Anyone who knows who owns Gerald or who has any information that can help our enquiries should call our appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leave me a message.”
New figures released by the RSPCA this week reveal that on average around one horse is harmed deliberately every day across the summer months in England and Wales.
Despite being a nation of animal lovers, 3,226 incidents of deliberate cruelty towards equines were recorded over the last five years and the RSPCA has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign in an attempt to crackdown on cruelty to animals.