**WARNING - GRAPHIC IMAGES**
THE ISPCA and Leitrim Animal Warden Service have appealed for information from the public following the dumping of over 30 horses and donkeys in the same area over the past 12 months.
The Animal Warden Service for County Leitrim have urged anyone with information regarding a serious Horse Welfare issue to come forward following a consistent and worrying trend of live horses and donkeys being dumped in Drumcong Forest near Annadale.
The service have revealed that over 30 different horses and donkeys were abandoned in that area over the past 12 months, with a number of those dumped suffering from illness and injuries.
A spokesperson said that the animals have been "left to fend for themselves", "with no food or water in a barren landscape".
Horrifically, the service have also discovered a high volume of skulls and bones in the area, indicating that the forest has been used as a dumping ground for some time.
The welfare service recently rescued three abandoned horses from the area in just one day, with devastating results.
In a statement, the Animal Warden Service said:
"On Thursday the 23.01.20, with the help of ISPCA Inspector Karen Lyons, the Leitrim Animal Warden Service and the Sathya Sai Sanctuary Trust for Nature from Sligo, a joined up operation to remove the horses from the site was carried out.
"On this day, two horses were seized under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 and removed from the site to a place of safety.
"Another horse was also discovered but trapped, elbow deep, in a bog.
"After a determined and concerted effort by the ISPCA, Animal Warden Service and Sathya Sai Sanctuary Trust for Nature, the horse was freed from the bog, but it was too weak and malnourished to recover and stand up.
"With a heavy heart, the decision was made to euthanize the animal and end its ongoing suffering.
"Another horse had also been pulled from the bog in this area in November 2019 and thankfully is currently in the process of making a full recovery. On that same day, a horse carcass was also found recently deceased in a ditch."
The service have said that it is "disappointing" that someone is deliberately and consistently dumping the animals and leaving them for dead.
They have urged anyone with information to come forward to speak with the Leitrim Animal Warden Service or the ISPCA, and have stressed that calls will be confidential.
The Animal Warden can be contacted on 087 1331158 / 0719648300 or by email to [email protected]
To donate to the continued care of these mistreated animals, the Sathya Sai Sanctuary Trust for Nature have set up a Paypal fund which you can view here.