Four abandoned horses were neglected so badly that one of them ended up dead and rotting in a field near Chester.
The animals were discovered earlier this month by a local yard owner in Great Barrow who had been tipped off that some horses in a nearby field had escaped onto a road looking for food.
When she investigated further, she came across the shocking sight of the dead, decaying body of one horse and quickly contacted the RSPCA who began to conduct an official investigation into the horse’s death.
Meanwhile, the shocking case had gone viral on Facebook and Wirral-based animal sanctuary Horse Sense, who have been rescuing and rehoming horses for almost 10 years, decided to step in and do their best to help the remaining three animals
The charity’s founder Amy Pirie this week told The Chronicle about the devastating scene she came across in the field, and how the remaining three horses needed to be treated carefully after being so badly neglected.
“It was clear that the three remaining horses were not used to humans and very scared of us, so we could only get so close and came to the conclusion that they were not quite sick or skinny enough to meet the very specific criteria needed to legally seize horses on welfare grounds,” she said.
“To be seized on these grounds, they do need to be very poorly, so since all equine facilities are beyond full and bursting at the seams we decided that the quickest way to resolve the situation for the horses was for ourselves to seize them under abandonment legislation which involves us reporting the horses as abandoned to Cheshire police, gaining a reference to put on an abandonment notice that we have to place at the scene for four days to give an owner chance to come forward,” explained Amy.
After four days, an owner still did not come forward, so the charity, with the help of several local supporters with horse handling experience and Cheshire police, who had to handle traffic in case the horses panicked and ran onto the road, the animals were taken off to their new life.
“The horses arrived safely and were just tired from the ordeal of humans and horse boxes, none of which they are used to,” said Amy.
“Overnight they totally changed and by Sunday morning were coming right up to people to see what food they were getting next. We have now called them Lacey, Peggy and Marley, Peggy is by far the most confident, although I did get an unexpected kiss off Lacey this week!”
The charity is currently taking great care of the horses after their ordeal and, as Amy says, ‘it’s all about food, water and a warm bed at the moment.’
“As soon as we get them used to head collars and handling, they will all see the vet, farrier, dentist and be wormed,” she added. “We will take as long as they need to gain trust in humans, but hope that one day, they will be available on our rehoming scheme.”
An RSPCA spokesperson has not yet responded to our request for comment regarding the investigation into the dead horse.
If you can help Horse Sense through donations, visit www.horsesensewirral.com