Dying foal with maggot-infested wounds dumped on footpath

  • A dying foal found with maggot-infested wounds on a public footpath has been put down to end her suffering – as a welfare inspector said situations like these “never get any easier”.

    The RSPCA is appealing for information after the filly, thought to be around five months old, was discovered on 6 May by walkers on a footpath on The Green, near Sharlston Common, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

    **Warning: upsetting image**

    A spokesman for the RSPCA said the walkers waited and comforted the pony until inspector Kris Walker arrived to help, but said it was clear the filly was gravely ill.

    “This was such an upsetting discovery for these people, but it was so kind of them to wait with the pony. When I saw the state she was in I called a vet to come straight away,“ said Mr Walker.

    “The pony had a couple of wounds on her body and face which were infested with maggots, and she was very thin and clearly malnourished. Sadly when the vet examined her, the vet made the decision there and then to put her to sleep to end her suffering as she just couldn’t be saved.”

    Mr Walker said the filly had been clearly in desperate need of help.

    “The fact someone cruelly dumped her like this on a footpath to die is heart-breaking,” he said. “I’m appealing to anybody with information to contact me in complete confidence by contacting our inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018, where they can leave me a message.”

    “Sadly as animal rescuers we are called about dead, very sick, or sometimes even dying horses and ponies that have been dumped just like this poor pony. As an animal lover and rescuer, it truly never gets any easier for me when I arrive at situations like this.”  

    Mr Walker added it can be costly to dispose of the bodies of horses, prompting irresponsible owners to dump them in public places – often with rubbish – leaving someone else to “pick up the pieces”.  

    The spokesman said the charity took in more than 820 horses in 2019, and received more than 20,000 calls about horses.

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