A much-loved riding school pony who is believed to have been chased by dogs into a fence had to be put down owing to the severity of his injuries.
Fuzz, a 14.2hh Connemara gelding, cut an artery in a hind leg, and caused such significant damage to his hock joint that he could not be saved.
Andrew Gray, owner of Bluefaulds Equestrian Centre in south Lanarkshire, told H&H Fuzz was spotted out of his field early in the morning of 13 June, while a walker and two dogs were seen walking away from the scene.
“The grass was knee-deep so we couldn’t see his leg, but as we got closer, we could see there was blood everywhere,” Andrew said.
“When the vet came, he put a probe into the front of the hock joint and it came out of the back. The sad thing is, I was worried about the cut artery but the vet said: ‘That’s the least of your worries’. When the vet says that, you know it’s trouble.
“There was nothing that could be done; the vet said it would be the kindest thing to put him down there and then. It was a sad, sad morning.”
Andrew described 12-year-old Fuzz as a “great pony”.
“Everyone loved him,” he said. “He was one of the favourites, and our customers have been very upset.
“But feelings have also gone from upset to angry, as this could have been so easily avoided.”
Andrew said the horses’ field is separated from a public park by a farmers’ field and that on previous occasions, dogs have got into both.
“It’s happened before, but during the day, when there’s someone around to stop them and tell the owner the dogs need to be on leads,” he said.
“This time, we saw the owners walking away but we were just thinking about getting to Fuzz so we don’t know who they were – but we’re trying to find out because if they get away with it, it’ll happen again.
“They must have realised what happened but it’s not just horses and other animals at risk; when there was a dog in with our young horses before, the horses were chasing it, so dogs could be at risk too.”
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Andrew said he is hopeful better fencing may be put up around the park to make it dog-proof, but also that the dogs’ owners will be found.
“I’d just like to tell them to keep control of their dogs, and understand there are consequences to their actions,” he said.
“Lots of customers are upset, a horse lost his life and it’s a very sad time, because of their carelessness.”
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