A pony with serious wounds has been found tethered with chains and abandoned.
The RSPCA is now appealing for information about the piebald pony that was found in a field in Grays, Essex.
The mare was suffering with a large wound to her neck, which was infested with maggots.
The animal was found by RSPCA inspector Marie Hammerton on Thursday, 12 November, after being alerted by a member of the public.
“This poor pony has a nasty wound on the top of her neck where the tether has been digging in for some time,” said Inspector Hammerto.
“The tether used was totally inappropriate — a thick metal chain wrapped in what appears to be the inner tube of a push bike.
“This has left her with a wound that is approximately five inches by two inches and swarming in maggots, and it’s estimated by vets that this has been festering for around two weeks. She must have been in so much pain.”
The 12.2hh mare is not microchipped. The charity believes she had been abandoned for some time and think she is around four years old.
Inspector Hammerton added: “I have named the pony Madge after Madonna, and she is a very sweet little girl who just wants love and attention.
“Fortunately she is now safe and receiving lots of care and treatment for her wounds at a local vets. We expect her to make a full recovery.”
A spokesman for the charity added: “The RSPCA does not agree with horses being tethered but as it is not against the law and we can’t stop people doing it. Our main concern is that it is extremely difficult to provide for tethered animals’ needs and meet the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, including the provision of adequate shelter, grazing, companionship, physical safety and allowing the animal to express normal behaviour.”
Anyone with any information should telephone: 0300 123 8018.