THERE HAVE BEEN calls for greater enforcement of animal cruelty penalties after an emaciated pony was found dumped in a Dublin suburb over the weekend.
Volunteers with the My Lovely Horse Rescue group discovered the pony by a canal in Ballyfermot on Saturday.
They tended to the sick animal for hours before it became apparent that she would need to be put down by a vet.
The charity said it believes the pony was “left to die” in a secluded area close to the seventh lock of the waterway so that she wouldn’t be seen.
“We sent volunteers down after getting reports that a pony was being walked up the canal,” Tiffany Quinn of My Lovely Horse Rescue told TheJournal.ie.
She’d been lying on the ground for at least a day by the time a vet saw her.
The pony was so weak that she struggled to eat the hay volunteers had brought to the place where she lay, Quinn said.
She couldn’t even lift her head to eat – she had to be fed with her head lying down.
Quinn told TheJournal.ie that she believes Irish courts are too lenient in animal cruelty cases, adding that penalties introduced as part of the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 are infrequently enforced.
What are we doing to tackle the cause of animal cruelty? The solution they have at the moment is to round animals up into pounds, rather than prevent abuse from happening in the first place.
She said that indiscriminate breeding has led to an oversupply of horses, which has allowed people living in unsuitable urban areas to cheaply buy the animals without any knowledge of how to care for them.