A pony found by British RSPCA inspectors over Christmas with nasty head wounds was in unimaginable pain, the charity says.
Life is now looking up for the small, dark bay colt named Elf, who is recovering from his ordeal in the RSPCA’s care.
The charity said its inspectors were called by police to help round up three ponies which had strayed on to a road near the village of Denham in Uxbridge, Middlesex.
The ponies were all completely unused to humans and inspectors were unable to get within 30 feet of two of the ponies. But the third, Elf, was easier to catch because of his injuries.
“Elf was very nervous, but had a sweet temperament and soon realised we meant him no harm,” RSPCA inspector Leanna Rice said.
“It was clear no-one had been caring properly for these ponies because Elf had a rope halter on that had become too small as he grew and had cut deeply into his muzzle, cheeks and forehead.
“His worst wound was covered by his forelock but this is so bad that there is a hole through to his sinuses.
“He must have been in unimaginable pain every time he took a breath and that is probably why he was caught relatively easily.”
Elf was taken to the Royal Veterinary College equine hospital where his wounds are being treated and he is expected to have an operation once he is strong enough.
It is estimated that his treatment will cost about £5000.
Got information on who Elf’s owner is? Call the RSPCA’s inspector information line in confidence on 0300 123 8181.