A FOAL has had to be put to sleep after being found in a heartbreaking condition by rescuers in Limerick.
Local animal charity Limerick Animal Welfare shared a video of the Black Colt, who was abandoned in an inner city estate during the week, and said the creature had been "ridden to within an inch of his life".
The foal, estimated to be just six to eight months old, had been shod, was emaciated and had a "horrific" injury to his back leg, which had obviously been broken with no efforts made to try and save it.
"Our volunteer arrived and was so appalled at the condition of the little colt, no words could describe," a spokesperson for the charity wrote on social media.
A second foal, a Bay Colt aged between four to five months, had also been abandoned and was found alongside the injured foal, but was thankfully found to be in an adequate condition.
Following the emergency rescue, a local vet examined both foals but the Black Colt was rescued too late to be saved, and the vet made the heartbreaking condition to end his suffering.
"The leg was broken and also had an old open wound, full of infection," a spokesperson for the charity wrote.
"The leg also had a rope burn wound, about an inch in diameter on the injured leg.
"We can't imagine the pain and suffering this poor little foal has gone through in his short life."
Limerick Animal Welfare deal with abandoned, abused and neglected pets every day-- but they fear the sheer amount of cruelty is on the rise.
"Year after year, we receive calls about baby foals being abandoned," they wrote.
"This year is the worst year so far."
LAW is not the only animal charity warning of a surge in the neglect and abuse of animals this year-- yesterday, Irish charity Dogs Trust reported a 68% increase in the amount of people contacting them to give up their pets.
The devastating news comes after Dogs Trust rescued a terrified, cold and wet terrier cross who had been left tied to railings beside a busy road near their rehoming centre in Finglas.
In Limerick, the second foal has been brought to safety and will now experience love, care and affection for the first time in its short life.
To read more about the work Limerick Animal Welfare do, or to donate to support the ongoing care of all of their animals, you can visit their Facebook page here.