An emaciated grey pony with horrific facial injuries has been found by an RSPCA inspector in Manchester.

Inspector Paul Heaton described the wounds on the abandoned pony as the worst he has seen in his 12-year career and is appealing for information to trace the owner.

A member of the public found Billy, a 12hh three-year-old gelding tied to a post in the Thorley Lane area, near Manchester airport, with severe injuries to his face and head caused by the wrong-sized head collar. It is thought that the head collar was originally fitted some time ago and dug deep into the pony’s face as he grew.

“I was absolutely stunned when I first saw this pony,” says Paul. “These are the worst equine facial injuries I have ever seen. The head collar had clearly been embedded in his face, no doubt causing excruciating pain.

“The ill-fitting head collar, and the wounds caused by it, limited the amount of food that the pony could consume – which is likely to be why he is emaciated. We need to locate the owner to determine how this animalgot into such a pitiful state.”

The RSPCA is hoping that someone might recognise Billy and know the owner, or have seen someone abandoning him late last week.

Paul says: “Being so close to the airport, this is a very busy area. I find ithard to believe that nobody saw this animal being walked to the area, or being off-loaded from a trailer.”

Anyone with information about Billy can leave a message for inspector Heaton through the RSPCA’s 24-hour advice and cruelty number (tel:08705 555999). Calls to this number are charged at the national rate and are treated in confidence.

Picture courtesy of Andy Yates/Manchester Evening News.