A pony who was so weak and dehydrated she had collapsed and was “shaking uncontrollably” had been dumped in a field with no access to water.

The coloured filly was one of two emaciated youngsters spotted in a field in Bilston, West Midlands, by a member of the public on 19 April, when temperatures in the area reached 25C.

Both were in poor condition but the filly had collapsed and was breathing rapidly. By the time RSPCA inspector Vicki Taylor arrived on the scene, the member of the public had persuaded her to her feet, but she was so weak, she was shaking.

“She was clearly in a bad way,” Ms Taylor said.

“A vet was of the opinion that the ponies were dehydrated, and there was no water in the field. This was during the spell of hot weather we had.

“As well as being dehydrated, the ponies were emaciated. We contacted the police, who seized the ponies, which allowed us to remove them and take them into a private boarding establishment so they could be cared for.”

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The RSPCA has been making enquiries but has been unable to find the ponies’ owner or owners and has asked for anyone with information to call the charity on 0300 1238018. Both youngsters are now doing well.

The appeal comes the week after the charity revealed that the number of horses it rescues has reached a four-year high as the equine crisis rages on unabated.

The RSPCA’s annual cruelty statistics show that it rescued nearly 1,000 horses last year, and that there are 928 equines currently in its care. A spokesman said the charity “constantly” receives calls to its cruelty line, some 80 per day about horses.

For more on the ongoing horse crisis, and the steps being taken to combat it, see this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, out 3 May.

Also inside this week’s edition, 75 years of Royal Windsor Horse Show magic, ‘big dreamer’ sets up eventing grand slam bid and investment sparks debate over grass versus surfaces.