The death of a young bay gelding has been described as heart-wrenching by the Irish SPCA, which found the animal apparently left behind after a herd of horses was moved on.
It said the animal was in pain and distress and had to be euthanised.
Inspector Lisa O’Donovan attended to the horse on the north side of Cork City after the ISPCA’s helpline received a call saying the animal was in need of urgent help.
She found a young bay gelding unable to get to his feet. His body was convulsing and he was very distressed.
The police and a veterinarian were immediately called.
Inquiries confirmed that there had been a herd of equines in the area over previous weeks.
Around a week earlier, most of the herd had been removed but this unfortunate animal was left behind, the ISPCA said.
Despite the veterinary team’s effort, the young gelding had to be euthanized on humane grounds as he was suffering from a neurological condition that was causing him to significant pain and distress.
Several attempts were made to get him on his feet, but his condition had progressed so severely it was cruel to make him endure more.
“It’s heart-wrenching to come across these sad cases,” O’Donovan said.
“We feel very helpless when we see that the call came too late and can only imagine how much the young animal suffered. It’s a small consolation to know that at least we were able to end the terrible suffering he had endured.”
The ISCPA said such calls were not uncommon.
Horses are often left to roam on unsuitable agricultural or forestry areas without the landowners’ consent.
Normally, after a period, they are rounded up and moved elsewhere, but in some cases weak, diseased or sick animals are left behind to die.