A pony found entangled and abandoned with an old bike digging into her legs has been taken in by a sanctuary.
The skewbald mare was found on Sunday morning (22 May) tethered in a field estimated to be about 20 feet square.
She was taken in by North Mayo Horse Sanctuary, County Mayo, where she is recovering from her ordeal.
Sanctuary founder Gerry Ginty, who is also a county councillor for the area, said it appeared the pony had been struggling to free herself for some time.
“She’d been tied to a fence post, beside an old bike that had been abandoned,” he said.
“The rope had got tangled in it and the more the poor horse struggled, the tighter the rope got.
“Eventually all four legs were caught and the sprocket [toothed wheel] had cut her leg – her circulation must nearly have been cut off.
“The sad thing is, this was next to a church so people had walked past her to Mass and no one had done anything about it. The man who called us was a good Samaritan.”
Mr Ginty and sanctuary volunteer John Redmond managed to free the pony – which they named Sprocket – and she is now on box rest with an injured ligament in a hind leg.
“She was very nervous at first,” Mr Redmond said.
“She was trembling and wouldn’t come anywhere near us but now she’s starting to trust again, today she came over and ate out of my hand.”
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Mr Redmond said he thinks the mare, who is about seven, will be ready to be re-homed next month.
The pictures of her, posted by the sanctuary on its Facebook page, have been seen by thousands of people.
Mr Redmond said: “You have to tell a story with pictures. For so many rescues, we haven’t thought of taking photos because it’s the last thing on your mind but it’s good to be able to show people what goes on as otherwise they probably wouldn’t believe it.”