A foal and a pony have been found dumped and left for dead in the middle of a storm.
A resident discovered the youngsters on a mud track at around 4pm on Thursday (23 February).
The piebald pair, aged around six months old and three and a half years old, were lying on a path close to Southworth Lane in Winwick, Warrington.
The RSPCA was also called and assessed that condition of the ponies, who were found to be very underweight. The officer in attendance believes they were pushed off the back of a truck.
Unfortunately it was decided they could not be saved and both were put down.
“After a heavy part of the storm, a neighbour to my grandparents’ farm asked us advice about two ponies that had been dumped on a track around the corner from our farm,” Hannah Manson told H&H.
“He stayed with the horses waiting for the RSPCA to arrive. I went to see them and saw the state they were in, I immediately took pictures to raise awareness and hopefully catch the person who did this.
“The RSPCA arrived and decided the horses couldn’t be saved and put them down where they lay.”
Ms Manson shared photographs of the ponies on social media.
“The Facebook post has reached thousands of people and touched the hearts of everyone,” she added.
RSPCA inspector Paul Heaton described the scene as “one of the most heartbreaking” he has experienced in his 25-year career with the charity.
“I have seen a lot but this was horrifying,” he said. “I can’t stop thinking about it. It has affected everyone who saw it.
“They were emaciated and close to death. The person who had these horses pushed these poor animals off the back of the truck and on to the hard tarmac floor.
“Both ponies were so weak they were unable to stand or move around, that person would have driven away knowing they were alive when they left but the fate of both those animals was to die in a dark cold lane, alone. They could not move and just lay there.
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“It was cruelty in all ways, but this was just the end of their horrific life. The state they were in, it is obvious these animals had been failed in their basic care. They were so thin they obviously had not eaten properly for some time and were lacking in general care. They would’ve suffered a lot before last night.
“As an inspector I know I will see things no normal person should see, but these jobs do not leave us, we wake up in the night thinking about them. This will be one of those instances for me.
“I would urge anyone who knows what happened to these horses to contact us as soon as possible.”
Anyone with information on what happened to these youngsters or who they belonged to should contact the RSPCA inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for inspector Heaton.