The number of horses in RSPCA care has risen by 56% compared to this time last year.

The news comes as the charity launches a sponsorship scheme to help fund stabling for horses it has taken in.

As of 16 August, the RSPCA had 870 equines in its care — including 123 at its centres, 81 with fosterers and 666 in private stabling where the charity pays for their care.
This is a 56% increase on the same date last year, when the charity had 559 equines in its care.

Figures also show that the RSPCA took in 979 horses in total in 2016, which is a 55% increase on the previous year.

Equine inspector team leader Cathy Hyde warned that the situation is not improving.

“For several years now we as a charity have been picking up the pieces of the equine crisis, with our inspectors being called out to sick, injured, neglected or cruelly treated horses every single day,” she said.

“Despite our best efforts, the crisis is not getting any better.”

The RSPCA’s national call centre received more than 30,000 calls about horses last year and the charity is now rescuing an average of almost three horses a day.

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“For many of the horses, being rescued is just the beginning of a long road to recovery, and it can take many months for us to rehabilitate them to a point where they can be rehomed,” added Ms Hyde.

“The time and work during those months is absolutely essential but extremely costly, and we now find ourselves with more than 850 horses in our care, so we desperately need the public’s help.”

The charity is warning that the impact of the recession, over-breeding, cost of vets’ bills and falling prices of horses have all contributed to the crisis — and the poor state in which many horses are coming to the charity.

The sponsorship scheme involves a monthly donation in return for quarlerly news and updates.

Visit www.rspca.org.uk/stables for details.

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