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A young horse has been put down after being found dumped and emaciated in Kent.

The RSPCA is now appealing for information after the animal was found starving and collapsed. The horse was not microchipped.

The horse was found off Fackenden Lane in Shoreham, Kent, by a worried local resident at around 7am on Saturday (23 January).

“This is a very sad case. The horse had signs of being driven, he was emaciated and over-worked,” said Inspector Nick Wheelhouse.

“I can’t imagine who would have allowed this young horse to get into such a state.

“I would urge any members of the public who saw anything in the early hours of last Saturday morning who may know who owns this horse to contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”

Although an experienced horse handler and transporter and vet were at the scene, and assisted with many attempts to get the horse to stand over two hours, it became apparent the horse was far too weak and unable to support his own weight.

The horse was then put to sleep.

Earlier this month the charity warned of a “horse crisis” in Kent following a spate of calls regarding horses across the county during the past two months.

“These horses have been dumped in driveways, fields, on private and public land with complete disregard for both the animals and the public,” said Inspector Caroline Doe.

“We are seeing a spate of dumped horses in the county at the moment, which is extremely shocking and distressing and needs to stop.”

Last year the RSPCA received calls about 98 dead horses in Kent compared to 68 in 2014.

“This is pushing our inspectors to their limits and putting a strain on resources,” added Inspector Doe.

“We are asking the public to remember that we have finite resources and must always act within the law.”