Elderly rescue mule stabbed in ‘vicious’ attack

  • An elderly rescue mule is recovering after he was stabbed in a horrific attack at a sanctuary.

    Tommy, 20, was stabbed in the face while in his field at Undercliff Pony Rescue, in Rye, East Sussex, some time between Sunday evening (8 August) and the early hours of Monday morning.

    The sanctuary’s owner Sharon Baker told H&H Tommy, who was in the field with five horses, was discovered by her 19-year-old daughter Madison.

    “Madison went to the field and noticed blood everywhere. She found Tommy with blood on his legs and a huge wound on his face. She managed to get hold of him but he was very distressed,” said Sharon.

    “At first I thought he must have caught himself on something but on cleaning the wound I thought ‘this looks like it was caused by a knife’.”

    A vet arrived to treat Tommy and agreed with Sharon that the wound had been caused deliberately.

    “The knife has gone from the outside of his face through to the inside of his mouth and shattered some of his teeth. He’s had stitches and is on antibiotics and lots of painkillers,” said Sharon.

    “He’s going to need further vet treatment and dental work but the main thing now is making sure the wound doesn’t become infected. We want to give him the best possible care.”

    Sharon said she was “devastated” by the attack.

    “Tommy has been with us for three years and when he arrived he didn’t trust anyone. It’s only the last six months he’s built up a special bond with Madison and all that could be undone now. It’s just heartbreaking, this is supposed to be their safe haven,” she said.

    “I’m now installing CCTV in the fields, stables and at the gates so every square inch can be monitored 24 hours a day.”

    Almost £7,000 has been raised by donations towards Tommy’s vet bills, his future care, and towards the CCTV. To donate visit the sanctuary’s Just Giving Page.

    “It’s such a close-knit community here. Everyone knows the horses and our work and is disgusted by what’s happened,” said Sharon.

    “I’m so overwhelmed by the donations – we’ve even had some from people on the other side of the world. It restores your faith in humanity.”

    Sussex Police is appealing for witnesses or anyone with information about the “vicious attack” to come forward.

    “Not only has this been a cruel attack on a helpless animal, it has caused a significant cost to the rescue charity who care for Tommy,” said PC Carlo Leone of the force’s rural crime team.

    “We believe this to be an isolated incident but urge all equine owners in the area to review their security and stay vigilant.”

    Anyone with information should call 101 and quote reference 620 of 09/08.

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