A HORSE had to be put to sleep after gardai found her savagely beaten and "rotting" at a property in Co. Cork.
It's thought that the horse had been subject to abuse for a number of weeks before being discovered.
Local animal charities have spoken of their disgust at reports that the poor pony had been "savagely beaten" and was left with broken bones and deep wounds.
Gardai members were alerted by a passerby and once they arrived at the scene in Fairhill, in the north of Cork city, they immediately contacted My Lovely Horse Rescue, based in Cobh.
Kelly Mellerick and another volunteer drove to the scene as quickly as they could at around 8pm where they were met by the officers and with veterinary surgeon, John Hyde.
They had to gain access to the area the horse was found through rough conditions with flash lights.
"What met us made me burst into tears. I had asked one of the officers at the scene who called asking for help did I need to bring horse box and he said no, so I knew it was bad," said Ms Mellerick.
"But I really didn’t expect to see a two-year-old horse as badly abused as this. She was lying down on really rough ground.
"I thought she was already dead when I knelt down beside her neck but she turned her head towards me trying to get up.
"I honestly don’t understand how she was able to do that even. No animal could have done that to themselves.
"She was savagely beaten at least once by an individual or individuals.
"Some of the wounds were so old too. I’m sure she had numerous broken bones and she was covered in bloody cuts.
"Every part of her was swollen. She had no body condition, no flesh to be exact. She was just bone and she was rotting.
"It’s like as if she was being abused for a thrill and the person or persons who did this were getting an adrenaline rush from the cruelty they were inflicting on her.
The on-hand vet made the decision that the horse needed to be put down for its own benefit, to put her out of her misery.
Gardai have now launched an investigation into who might have carried out the shocking abuse, and appealing for anyone with information to contact them at Gurranabraher Station in Cork on 021-4946200.
"To be honest I’m just lost for words. I don’t know what is going on with people," added Ms Mellerick.
"The numbers of horses being found in urban Cork is out of control. Even the three officers at the scene were upset at the level of abuse perpetrated on the horse.
"She had an awful life by the looks of it."
Cork County Council later removed the horse's remains from the scene.