A Shetland pony has been mutilated and killed in an attack in Sunderland.
The gelding, Bobby, was targeted on 3 November in a field on Cleadon Lane, Cleadon.
Bobby was discovered by his owner between 7 and 8pm.
“The injuries are almost too horrific to mention,” said RSPCA inspector Heidi Cleaver.
“Bobby has been slashed, had an ear and his bottom lip cut off and his genitals severed.
“His mane has also been hacked off and left strewn all over the field.
“This was a very friendly little skewbald Shetland pony, aged around 12-14 years.
“Naturally his owner is devastated.”
Bobby was taken on by his owner four years ago. He had issues with soundness so couldn’t be ridden so was looking for a home as a companion.
“His owner describes him as a happy little pony with a cheeky character,” said inspector Cleaver.
“While he was able to run, he wasn’t as fast as the other horses in the field as a result of his condition, which may have been why he was targeted.
“It’s inconceivable that someone would want to deliberately hurt him in this way. This was a truly horrific incident.”
The RSPCA is now appealing for information.
“If you have any information about what happened to Bobby please call the RSPCA inspector appeal line immediately on 0300 123 8018 and ask to leave a message for me,” added inspector Cleaver.