Saturday 26 May 2018

Pony left to die by canal sparks warning of 'horse crisis'

**Warning - some readers may find images distressing

Emaciated horse found in Dublin
Emaciated horse found in Dublin
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

AN animal rescue charity has said that the “crisis” of people mistreating horses in Dublin is not over.

The My Lovely Horse Rescue team tended to a pony that was abandoned near the canal in Ballyfermot in an emaciated condition on Saturday.

A vet was called by volunteers, but the animal had to be put down due to its poor condition. The charity believes that the horse was brought to the 7th lock to die.

It is a sign that the crisis of horse mistreatment in Dublin is not over, said one of the charity’s founders.

Emaciated horse found in Dublin
Emaciated horse found in Dublin

“The problem is that Government are paying for horses to be rounded-up by the pound – unfortunately what they really need to do is to tackle the supply of the horses,” said Tiffany Quinn.

Read More: Over 350 horses, ponies and foals put down last year

She added that the number of horses being sold to people living in unsuitable urban areas remained a big problem in the capital. “People who really don’t have the money or the facilities to look after horses are able to get hold of them very cheaply,” she told the Herald.

“People who live in urban housing estates think that they are entitled to own a horse, even though they might not have money to pay for proper facilities.


“They throw them out onto public land and they don’t look after their health or call a vet when they’re sick,” she added.

Emaciated horse found in Dublin
Emaciated horse found in Dublin

Ms Quinn also criticised a lack of education around how to raise horses properly.

“They’re not aware of what horses need. These teens are riding young foals on concrete, so it destroys their joints,” she said.

“When we get them in it’s hard to bring them back to health because their bones have been destroyed by concrete.”

Existing legislation is not enough to protect animal welfare Ms Quinn argued. The charity wants people to petition their public representatives for more comprehensive protection for animals.

Read More: Champ the pony won their hearts but they could not save him

My Lovely Horse Rescue is staffed exclusively by volunteers and relies mostly on donations from the public.

The Meath-based organisation also has a farm where they rehabilitate horses. 

“We’re very focused on bringing them in, getting them back to health and finding them a nice home,” Ms Quinn said. “We don’t want to just collect them and keep them forever, it’s not a sanctuary.”

More information about the charity can be found on


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