RSPCA inspectors are appealing for information after finding a Shetland pony whose head was almost severed by her tethering chain in Bradford.

The bay mare, named Susie by the charity, had been suffering for such a long time that tissue had begun growing through the chain links.

She was spotted by a member of the public in a field on Lower Lane, Bradford.

RSPCA inspector Rachel Oprysk said: “When the call came in it was actually about a pony which had the debris of a Christmas tree, odd as it sounds, tangled in a chain that had been used as a tether.

“She didn’t want to come anywhere near us and it took a couple of visits to catch her.

“When we finally did it became apparent that she was actually very badly injured indeed.

“Her head-collar and the chain had dug into her. The wound around her neck was so deep it had almost severed her head. It really was touch and go.”

Susie was taken to an equine veterinary practice on Thursday 17 March where staff sedated her in order to remove the chain.

The wound was so big that it couldn’t be stitched so the risk of infection was huge.

“She’s doing really well, amazingly, and we’ve just moved her from the vets to a boarding establishment,” said Inspector Oprysk.

“She has been very lucky though. She was in a really terrible state, a state it’s taken an awful long time for her to get into, and we want to know who her owner is.

“This is what can happen when people tether their ponies inappropriately.

Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 and leave a message for Inspector Oprysk.