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THIS starving pony was found wandering around a housing estate just days away from death after he was cruelly abandoned by its callous owner.

His stomach was distended due to malnutrition and starvation, his legs were buckled and his fur was mangy and falling out due to "rain rot".

This happens when the skin of an animal that has been left outside in the rain is literally burnt from over exposure to moisture, causing the fur to fall out.

"It's a really bad case of neglect," said Gillian Bird of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, (DSPCA), which rescued the pony on Wednesday afternoon.


He was seized by the DSPCA after local residents from the Cappaghmore estate in Clondalkin, west Dublin, reported seeing the pony wandering the streets.

"He wasn't long for this world," Ms Bird told the Herald.

"He was either going to be hit by a car or abused by kids or die of starvation," she said.

But now Reilly will be medically assessed by vets at its rescue centre in Rathfarmham and he will be nursed back to health once blood tests are conducted to determine whether he can be saved, she said.

But sadly, he wasn't the only animal found callously abandoned in the Dublin area on Wednesday.

DSPCA inspectors also found a horse that was dumped in Tallaght, south Dublin on Wednesday, which was also suffering from rain rot and had a broken leg.

Another abandoned horse had to be put down in Tallaght a fortnight ago after it was struck by a car after it was left wandering the streets, she said.

Yet they are just a drop in the ocean among hundreds of horses and ponies that are being dumped by their owners because they don't want to pay for the cost of their care and upkeep, she said.

"Last Saturday, an inspector in Brittas found 300 horses in poor condition," she said.

"We are dealing with an unprecedented number of horses that are either abandoned or illegally on private land."


Horse owners are increasingly allowing their animals to graze on public greens or private lands owned by others in a bid to keep a step ahead of local councils and animal welfare officers, she said.

Yet what many people don't realise is that if an animal such as a horse is found in poor condition on someone's land, even if they have nothing to do with the animal, the landowner is then responsible for the animal's welfare and could face prosecution, Ms Bird added.