A HORSE, abandoned in an estate in Ardamine last week, was in such poor condition, she had to be put down, the NWSPCA has said.
Shockingly, this was the third case of horse abandonment reported to the Society in the past fortnight.
An Inspector for the Society branded the latest case as 'unacceptable cruelty.' The Society's Inspectors were called to an undeveloped site in the estate, where they founded the horse collapsed on the ground and unable to stand.
Locals reported seeing a man drive up to the site with a horse box, and then helping the horse, which was showing signs of difficulty with one of her legs, to get to the site. He then drove away, and the horse then collapsed.
The NWSPCA Inspectors called in the Society's vet, who determined that unfortunately the horse could not be saved.
'It was terrible to see the life of a fine animal end in such a distressing way,' said the Inspector. 'Shame on the man who let it get in such a state, and then just dumped it. Unacceptable cruelty.'
He said the number of cases involving horses is on the increase with the onset of the cold winter period. Three horses were abandoned in Ardamine alone in the past fortnight, and the NWSPCA had to rely on horse welfare charities for assistance as it doesn't have the facilities to handle horses itself. However, the horse welfare charities are already reporting their rescue centres are full up, and this is before the busy period really kicks in.
The Society said it has to rely on local generous supporters to provide temporary holding facilities, and there is concern that more horses will be abandoned and left to starve.
'People don't appreciate the financial costs and responsibilities associated with owning a horse, or indeed any animal, and when under pressure, they dump the animal,' said the Inspector. ' There are horse pounds where these animals could be surrendered. The majority of horses can cope very well in cold weather as long as natural or manmade shelter is provided from the rain and wind. The digestion of fibre such as hay or haylage generates heat which keeps them warm from the inside out.'