The RSPCA is appealing for information after a pony was found abandoned in a barren field in the East Riding of Yorkshire. A member of the public reported concerns to the charity that the mare was not being attended to on land near to the village of East Cottingwith, between York and Howden.

Further checks found that the veteran pony was struggling to walk and did not have adequate shelter. She was in a poor body condition, with hips, ribs and spine clearly visible and was suffering with significantly overgrown hooves, some of which were curling up towards her legs.

An equine charity contacted the RSPCA and a local vet was also called out on 7 December. Sadly the pony’s health was so poor that the vet decided the kindest course of action was to put her to sleep.

The pony wasn’t microchipped and now the RSPCA is trying to trace her owner or anyone who may have information on how she came to be left at this rural location in such a poor state.

A picture of the pony can be viewed here and her overgrown hooves can be clearly seen here. Please note pictures are graphic and upsetting. 

“It looks like this poor pony was abandoned in a remote and barren field which had previously been used by a local farmer to keep pigs, although it hasn’t been grassed for some time,” said RSPCA inspector Tom Hutton, who is investigating the case.

“She had nothing to graze on and no other source of food and she was sadly in a very poor condition suffering with horrendously long hooves.

“I have made enquiries locally and no one knows how she came to be there, including the landowner. The foot gate into the field, which is quite a large piece of land, isn’t secure and it looks like it could have been pushed back by a vehicle.

“Perhaps someone might know who her owner was or has some idea of how she came to be left at this location. Someone has chosen to cruelly leave her in what were truly miserable conditions.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the RSPCA by ringing the appeals line number on 0300 123 8018.

Rise in abandonments

Animal abandonment incidents have soared to a three-year high, the RSPCA reports. Already this year, up to the end of October, the charity has received 17,838 reports of abandoned animals across England and Wales – which, if such trends continue, would equate to 21,417 reports over 2023.

This compares with 16,118 reports during the whole of 2020, meaning the RSPCA is on course to see a 32.9% rise in abandonment calls this year.

The charity’s new Christmas film highlights this concerning trend. Click here to find out how you can help.

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