British-based charity World Horse Welfare says its welfare cases have risen almost 50 per cent in the last five years.
It is calling on members of the public to help support the charity in dealing with the surge, which it says has placed a huge strain on it resources, with a worrying rise in cases involving multiple horses.
The charity has been contacting its supporters through its Summer Appeal to urge them to continue to provide support to allow it to continue protecting horses in Britain.
World Horse Welfare said it received 6000 calls on its UK Welfare Hotline in 2011 from concerned members of the public. Its 16 British field officers investigated more than 1600 welfare concerns.
Recently, it has seen a big increase in the number of multi-horse cases in Britain – appalling situations where tens or even hundreds of horses are suffering because of negligent owners.
Currently, it is caring for nine large groups of horses in its four British rescue and rehoming centres, and it is involved in another 10 cases where the numbers of horses range from 10 to more than 300.
It said such cases came about due to factors such as overbreeding and the current economic climate.
Last year, a total of 193 horses came into its centres and so far this year it has taken in 85 new horses, with more pending.
Deputy chief executive Tony Tyler said: “In our 85th year it is apt that we have taken in 85 horses since the beginning of January.
“We are seeing a greater demand placed on our resources as we are called to attend more welfare concerns.”
Tyler said the charity relied completely on the support and donations from members of the public.