An emaciated colt found wearing a religious pendant thought to be used to ward off evil has died despite the best efforts of rescuers.
The piebald colt, named Noel by his rescuers, was found collapsed wearing a pendant, understood to be the Saint Benedict medal, on a cord around his neck. The medal features the Latin text eius in obitu nostro praesentia muniamur which translates as “may we be strengthened by his presence in the hour of our death” and is thought to be a symbol used in Christianity to ward off evil.
Noel, thought only to be a few months old, was discovered by a member of the public in a field behind the Odiham Health Centre, Odiham, Hook, Hampshire on 11 December.
The charity said Noel was in a “shocking” state and had been “left to die”.
RSPCA inspector Harriet Maund, who is investigating, said: “We’re really keen to hear from anyone who may know where Noel came from, and who owned him.
Noel did not have a microchip.
“When he was found he was down on the ground and unable to get up. He was extremely underweight, bloods tests discovered he had a high worm burden,” said Ms Maund.
“Unfortunately, despite the efforts of vets, little Noel passed away overnight on Sunday 16 December. He seemed to improve at first, but he was still so weak and his body just couldn’t cope.
The charity remains in ‘the midst of an ongoing equine crisis’ with high numbers of horses being neglected or abandoned.
A charity is appealing for anyone who may have seen a man leading a pony in the area
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“We’re hoping someone out there will know more and contact us. There is never an excuse for simply abandoning an animal in their moment of need. This was a heartless and callous act carried out without a thought for the welfare of this horse.”
The charity said Noel is just one of the “latest victims” of the ongoing equine crisis with charities facing rising numbers of horses in “desperate” need of help.
Anyone with information on Noel can call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.
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