Dumped pony found with serious burns

Watson was euthanised after it was found he had suffered kidney damage.
Watson was euthanised after it was found he had suffered kidney damage.

A pony found dumped in Bristol, England, with major burn-like injuries to his body has been euthanized.

Authorities are appealing for information about the pony, named Watson by the charity HorseWorld.

Watson was found on June 8 in a field off Old Gloucester Road in Winterbourne.

RSPCA Inspector Chris James attended at the scene in Winterbourne and immediately called a vet and the police, who seized Watson.

James also contacted HorseWorld who collected the coloured colt and took him for treatment.

As well as the burns to his skin, Watson was suffering from an ulcerated mouth. He had lice and had no hair on half of his body. He was thought to be just 18 months old.

Despite intensive veterinary care, Watson was euthanised three days after he was found as he had extensive kidney damage.

It is not known if his injuries were caused by ingesting a toxic substance or if a corrosive fluid was poured on to his skin.

RSPCA Chief Inspector John Atkinson visited Watson at HorseWorld shortly after he was found.

“I had thought I’d seen everything until I saw the state this poor horse was in,” Atkinson said. “It was absolutely shocking to see his injuries and how much he’d suffered.

“He wasn’t microchipped and we have exhausted all efforts to find his owner so now we are making an appeal to anyone who might have information about what happened to this pony.

“This also highlights the problems we have in trying to trace the owners of dumped or cruelly treated animals.

“By law, all horses must be microchipped and have passports, but there are many irresponsible owners out there who just don’t bother. These are the same owners who leave animals like Watson without treatment. We need more enforcement of microchipping and passporting to bring such owners to account.”

HorseWorld’s national welfare director, Jerry Watkins, said: “My heart went out to this poor little fellow, who endured a short and miserable life.

“The only consolation was that we were able to relieve his suffering somewhat at the end.”

In 2012, the British RSPCA investigated 25,972 equine-related welfare complaints. In the first quarter of 2013 it has already investigated 7140 complaints.


Anyone with information about Watson should contact the British RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line in confidence on 0300 123 8018.


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