A pregnant mare, thought to have died giving birth, has been found dumped in Kent.
The dead horse was found on Sunday 3 May by passers by on Barnfield Road, Hunger Hatch, near Ashford.
She had a rope tied around her back legs and the head of her foal was visible, as if about to be born.
The RSPCA is now appealing for information about the mare.
“This was one of the most upsetting things I have ever seen,” said RSPCA inspector Rosie Russon.
“The horse clearly died in the middle of giving birth, before being dragged by her feet so she could be dumped in the country lane.
“She clearly needed veterinary attention and help giving birth and she — and her foal — must have suffered a horrible and painful death. It is so sad.”
Over the past three years the RSPCA has received 69,410 calls about horses in England — 19,897 in the south east region.
Kent had the second highest number of calls in the country in 2014, after West Yorkshire, with 1,242 calls.
Inspector Russon added: “Unfortunately we are seeing more and more heartbreaking incidents involving horses like this.
“England and Wales are in the grip of a horse crisis —and a high proportion of these cases are happening here, in Kent.
“We and other welfare charities are struggling to cope with the number of neglected and abused horses and ponies we are seeing, and sadly there are thousands more which are feared to be at risk.”
Anyone with any information on the dead mare, or who she could belong to is urged to call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.