A PONY whose wounds from a lice infestation had been left untreated was “being eaten alive” by maggots.
World Horse Welfare and the RSPCA are appealing for information on the months-old pony, now named Buggy, one of a group found in Hillam, Yorkshire.
The charities were called to the animals by a member of the public who realised they needed help.
World Horse Welfare field officer Sarah Tucker said: “As I walked over to the pony, the smell was absolutely putrid even from six feet away.
“I could hear the maggots making a ‘crackling’ sound as they burrowed through his skin. It was like his skin was moving as he was so covered in them and he understandably looked very uncomfortable and dejected.”
A vet, RSPCA inspector Claire Mitchell and police arrived and the horses were removed under the Animal Welfare Act.
A spokesman for WHW said: “Given that Buggy was in such a terrible state, he was travelled to the Minster Equine Veterinary Clinic in York where he was put on a drip and received urgent treatment to clear his skin of the maggots.”
The foal was very thin and suffering from “extensive skin damage” from the maggots, as well as the lice infestation and worms.
Ms Tucker said: “I would say this is one of the most horrific cases of neglect that I’ve seen in the years I’ve worked for World Horse Welfare.
“It’s shocking to think that Buggy has been left in this terrible condition and that if he’d been found just one or two days later it would have been too late.
“In addition to Buggy’s awful maggot-infested wounds, the whole field was full of ragwort, all the horses’ hooves were in serious need of trimming and there was no fresh water supply for them to drink.
“Thankfully, they are now all in the safety of World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Lancashire and Buggy is on the road to recovery.”
Ms Mitchell added: “Poor Buggy was in a sorry state when we were called out to him, we’re really glad he is now receiving the care and treatment he desperately needs. His skin condition is absolutely appalling and he will have been extremely uncomfortable, it’s shocking that somebody could have left him to suffer like this.
- 16 horses neglected, 2 died, 2 put down: man jailed and banned for life
- Dying colt was ‘worst neglect case ever seen’ [VIDEO]
- Fibreglass donkey baffles welfare officers on neglect call-out
“This is another great example of the successful multi-agency work between the equine charities to combat horse welfare issues, and I’m pleased that together we were able to ensure the welfare of these horses. The team at World Horse Welfare does a great job in rehabilitating horses like Buggy, and like us at the RSPCA, sees cases of neglect like this all too often.
“We’d be very keen to hear from anybody with any information as to who owns the horses. They can leave me a message in complete confidence by calling 0300 1238018.”
To donate to World Horse Welfare, click here.