Homes sought for abandoned ponies
EFFORTS are under way to find homes for four Shetland ponies found wandering on the hard shoulder of a motorway.
They include a young mare and her foal, and all four "were obviously abandoned and left to fend for themselves" according to a vet.
"It was very fortunate they were discovered just before the serious cold weather arrived," said vet Garrett Shine of the Co Louth animal pound.
The distressed ponies were found wandering on the hard shoulder some 10km north of Drogheda at 4am on Saturday, 11 days ago, when the arctic snap hit.
"There was harsh wind and rain at the time. We suspect they were abandoned, and with no grass growth . . . they most likely escaped from the field in which they were abandoned in search of food," Mr Shine said.
No one has come forward to claim the animals and they are now available for re-homing.
The team at the pound believes it may have a home for the mare and foal but is still looking for new owners for the other two male ponies.
By law, all equines have to have a passport and be microchipped -- but none of these four had microchips.
The pound in Co Louth has seen a marked increase in the number of horses coming in which Mr Shine believes "is due in part to the demise of the Celtic Tiger".
"People no longer have the resources to feed and maintain a horse."