Pony suffers broken leg and ripped face in suspected dog attack *warning: graphic image*

The owner of a pony who had to be put down after he sustained a broken leg and “ripped” face in a suspected dog attack wants dog owners to take responsibility for their pets.

Erica Wilson’s 15-year-old miniature Shetland Chutney was found severely injured in his field in Worcestershire on Saturday (19 January).

Erica told H&H: “I rang the vet and went straight to the yard – as soon as I saw Chutney it was obvious he had broken his leg and his face had been ripped. His face could have been treated but the vet said ‘I’m so sorry, his leg’s broken’ so he was put to sleep.”

“We had owned Chutney for eight years; my son learnt to ride on him and used to do local shows. After my son outgrew him he went on loan to a little girl at a livery yard. He was such a nice pony – Shetlands can have a reputation of being naughty but he was a lovely person. The little girl he was on loan to had stopped riding him after she outgrew him but she looked after him as a pet. She’s very upset, she was there when he was found.”

Chutney was the only pony injured.

“He had arthritis so he used to stay out in the field with a shelter with two other ponies. I can only guess because he is so small he couldn’t get away. You can see where the attack happened in the field, there’s scuff marks and you can see where somewhere has climbed over a gate and gone through hedges,” said Erica

“I’m angry that Chutney was left like that. It’s not in the middle of nowhere – there are two houses there, they could have put a note through the door or phoned the police, anything, but they left him.

“We’ve had problems with trespassers on the land before and reported it to the police. We got a photograph of someone walking dogs through the field previously. It’s not on a public footpath or public right of way but they’ve come into the field.”

Erica wants dog owners to be more aware and learn from the incident.

I want owners to take a bit of responsibility. Maybe they thought they shouldn’t have been there and didn’t want to get into trouble, but someone’s dogs did that and they left Chutney in pain,” she said.



“I don’t want any animal attacked but I understand accidents happen and dogs are pack animals. Even the best trained dogs in the world can go rogue, but just let someone know. Maybe horse owners could put a phone number on gates so it’s easier to get in contact with them or dog owners should phone the police and let them know if there has been an attack, then the animal can be put out of its misery or treated.

“Dog owners need to be aware, it’s not about the vet bills, it’s about the animal not being left to suffer – that’s all.”

A spokesman for Warwickshire and West Mercia Police said: “We would like to remind dog owners to keep their pets on leads around livestock.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference 543s of 19 January 2019.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.