Rescuers who helped lift 66 horses from “a sea of filth” believe some of the animals may belong to people who thought them lost or stolen.

The horses were rescued from a farm near Mallusk, in County Antrim, when the owner went into voluntary psychiatric care and have been temporarily housed at sanctuaries in Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Workers at one of those venues, Holly’s Horse Haven, County Louth, have found that several of the horses are microchipped.

They are asking anyone whose horse may have been lost or stolen to contact them, preferably by email, with the chip number.

They also want to hear from anyone else who may be able to offer the horses a home.

The Haven’s Elaine Duffy said: “We were called to the biggest horse rescue in the 174-year history of the USPCA and what we found was unbelievable.

“66 uhorses knee-deep in muck and their own mess, and some had to be destroyed.

“Both ourselves and Dublin SPCA went to assist USPCA — Ireland pulling together to rescue these poor animals.

“It is not easy to help such a large number of animals, so we are now asking Ireland to help us.”

USPCA spokesman David Wilson, who took part in the rescue on 24 September, said there would not be any prosecution, as the charity does not have the power to do so — unlike the RSPCA — and the police would not be seeking a penalty either.

Mr Wilson said: “It’s sad but at least the animals are out of there now.”

Contact Holly’s via the website www.hollyshorsehaven.com or email
hollyshorsehaven@hotmail.com