In what they are describing as the “equine crisis”, they have seen a stark increase in the number of calls they have received concerning neglected and abandoned horses in the past few months in the county.
They received more than 300 calls about horses over this winter. Of the 38 incidents, that came from these calls, they have been called to; 13 horses were found already dead, and 25 were collapsed and dying - six in such a poorly state that nothing could be done to save them and 19 able to be rescued, cared for and treated.
These horse were often found left at the side of roads, woodlands, in fly tipping areas and generally in bad conditions.
The sudden increase in cases over the winter is thought to be linked to winter related problems such as; lack of grazing, older/ill horses struggling to cope with the weather, and redworm.
Unfortunately this means vet bills go up and horses are already expensive animals to keep, so it is thought that instead of veterinary treatment owners resort to leaving their horses to die.
Horse owners who are struggling are encouraged to contact the RSPCA or other horse welfare charities to seek assistance and aid, rather than let their horses suffer with illnesses that could be treated.
The RSPCA is urging anyone who has information about people dumping and neglecting horses to call them on 0300 1234 999, in complete confidence.