The RSPCA is appealing for information after a pony was found dumped with severe burn injuries near Bristol.

The coloured yearling, named ‘Watson’ by staff, was found on 8 June in a field in Winterbourne. Much of his body was covered in burns and lice, and he had an ulcerated mouth.

Police, vets and RSPCA inspectors were all involved before the colt was taken for treatment by the local rescue centre HorseWorld.

After three days, Watson had to be euthanased due to extensive kidney damage. It is not known if his burns injuries were caused by having ingested a toxic substance or if a corrosive fluid was poured on to his skin.

RSPCA chief inspector John Atkinson visited Watson at HorseWorld shortly after he was found.  He said:  “I had thought I’d seen everything until I saw the state this poor horse was in.  It was absolutely shocking to see his injuries and how much he’d suffered.

“He wasn’t microchipped and we have exhausted all efforts to find his owner so now we are making an appeal to anyone who might have information. This highlights the problems we have in trying to trace the owners of dumped or cruelly treated animals. We need more enforcement of microchipping and passports to bring such owners to account.”

Jerry Watkins of HorseWorld added:  “My heart went out to this poor little fellow who endured a short and miserable life. The only consolation was that we were able to relieve his suffering somewhat at the end.”

Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line in confidence on 0300 123 8018.