The body of a young pony has been found at the side of a Surrey road with its throat cut and its legs tied together.
The RSPCA is appealing for information after a member of the public found the 9- or 10-month-old filly at about 12.45pm on Thursday 8 January in West Horsley.
The pony was bay with a blaze and white feet.
RSPCA inspector Michelle Hare, who is investigating, said: “This poor creature was thin and it is likely that whoever allowed her to get into this state decided to finish her off by cutting her throat and then simply dump the evidence at the side of the road.
“Although there was some blood where the body was found, I would have expected more if the pony had been killed there. So she was probably killed elsewhere and then her feet were tied together to make it easier to move her.
“She was probably dumped from either a lorry or a trailer.”
Now the RSPCA is urging anyone who recognises the pony, or who may have noticed a lorry parked at the side of the road, to come forward with information.
Inspector Hare said: “There is never any excuse for treating an animal in such a barbaric way. If people have ponies which they are struggling to care for, for whatever reason, then help and advice is available from a number of organisations, including the RSPCA.
“It is not known what type of pony she was because she was young, but she has a very woolly coat suggesting that she may have been a native type that was kept in a field rather than stabled.”
Anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal faces a maximum £20,000 fine and/or six months in prison.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact the RSPCA cruelty and information line on 0300 1234 999 and leave a message for inspector Hare. Calls are treated in strictest confidence.