A pony appeared to have been burned with cigarettes and even had a staple fired into one of its wounds, the British RSPCA says.
The RSPCA is investigating the attack, which occurred at stables in Merseyside, Liverpool.
It called the attack a terrible act of cruelty.
The Liverpool Echo reported that the victim was a 16-year-old Welsh section B mare named Penny, owned by Karris Reeves.
Reeves, 20, told the Echo: “I saw the marks and didn’t know what they were at first. I took pictures and my mum forwarded them on to the vet, who suspected they were burns. She came out and when you smelt them you could smell her fur and skin were burnt. The vet then found there was a staple in one of the wounds.”
RSPCA animal welfare officer John Littlewood said: “This poor pony must have been in so much pain as a result of this terrible act of cruelty.
“Fortunately the wounds can be treated – but I cannot believe that someone has done this to an innocent animal and for no other apparent reason than being cruel.”
Anyone with any information should call the RSPCA inspector line in confidence on 0300 123 8018.