A much-loved Shetland Pony has been mutilated and slaughtered in a sickening attack which left his owner heartbroken.
The animal was found in a field in Cleadon with his genitals and bottom lip hacked off, stomach slashed and his mane cut off.
Owner Wendy Redpath, from South Shields, has been left stunned at the horrendous torture measured out on Bobby, her 12-year-old rescue pony, who she described as being “very friendly” and “loving”.
“Whoever has done this needs to be taken off the streets. If they can do this to a defenceless horse, what could they do to a child? It doesn’t bear thinking about - it’s pure evil,” she said.
“I’m devastated. I’m trying to keep myself together the best I can.”
Mrs Redpath, who has kept horses all her life, had made her usual trip to the field but started to panic when she couldn’t find Bobby.
Whoever has done this needs to be taken off the streets. If they can do this to a defenceless horse, what could they do to a child? It doesn’t bear thinking about - it’s pure evil.Wendy Redpath
She discovered the butchered remains of her pet in the corner of the field just off Cleadon Lane at about 7.30pm, on Thursday.
At first she thought he had been attacked by an animal. But it wasn’t until taking a closer look that the full horror of the attack became clear.
“I just can’t understand why anyone would do something like this. It’s barbaric,” she said.
“We’ve had a few problems here on the field with fences being broken and kids trying to ride the horses, but never anything as sick as this.
“It’s now left me fearing for the safety of my other horses and I’m sure other horse owners feel the same. These people need to be caught before it happens again or they do this to another person.”
Police and the RSPCA have been contacted and it is understood CCTV from the area has also been gathered.
The Shetland Pony had come into Mrs Redpath’s care four years ago after he was advertised on a specialist re-homing website. Due to him having twisted feet and breathing problems he couldn’t be ridden or run fast or far.
Bobby was found dead by the boyfriend of Mrs Redpath’s friend who had come to help her search for Bobby when he couldn’t be seen in the field.
“I’d hate to think he was enticed with something, as he was such a placid horse and trusted everyone. Because of his feet he wouldn’t have been able to run as fast as the others.
“He had breathing problems, I just hope he suffered a heart attack and died before they done this to him. He would have been in so much pain, it’s just heartbreaking.
“What has happened has really affected the other horses as they would have seen it all. You can see it in their eyes and the way they are now behaving. I just can’t understand how anyone could be so cruel.
“What would posses someone to do this?”
Appeal to find the sick attackers
Police and RSPCA inspectors are appealing to anyone who has information to contact them.
Neighbourhood Inspector John Smith said: “This is a horrific attack on a poor Shetland pony and although we can’t definitely rule out an animal attack the nature of the injuries on the horse suggest that someone has done this. The owner is understandably distraught at what has happened and I would appeal for anyone with any information as to who is responsible to come forward and contact us.”
RSPCA inspector Heidi Cleaver said: “The injuries are almost too horrific to mention.
“Bobby has been slashed, had an ear and his bottom lip cut off and his genitals severed. His mane has also been hacked off and left strewn all over the field.
“This was was a very friendly little Skewbald Shetland pony, aged around 12-14 years.
She added: “His owner describes him as a happy little pony with a cheeky character.
“Whilst he was able to run, he wasn’t as fast as the other horses in the field as a result of his condition, which may have been why he was targeted.
“It’s inconceivable that someone would want to deliberately hurt him in this way. This was a truly horrific incident.
“If you have any information about what happened to Bobby please call the RSPCA inspector appeal line immediately on 0300 123 8018 and ask to leave a message
Anyone with any information into the attack is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1050 03/11/16.