The foal belonging to a mare euthanised after a savage beating by thugs in Wicklow, Ireland, last Sunday is now in the care of the Irish Horse Welfare Trust.
The trust confirmed on its Facebook page today that the foal was now under its care, saying the youngster’s name was Hero.
Uncertainty surrounded the whereabouts of the foal for several days, after he was seen standing over the body of his dead mother for hours at Hillview Estate, in Ballyguile.
The charity promised further updates on the youngster.
Police are continuing their investigation into the attack, with the charity saying yesterday that it was making a final appeal for witnesses to come forward.
“A prosecution cannot be made unless a witness comes forward and makes a statement,” it said.
“We would also like everyone to be aware that this is a very complex matter and making negative comments against the residents who live in the estate where the mare was beaten does not help the situation.”
The attack has been widely condemned across social media, and a €500 reward has been posted in the case.
It has emerged that a group of men arrived at Hillview Estate around 4.30pm last Sunday with about eight horses, with the apparent intention of grazing them in a field.
The mare had refused to go down the ramp, despite coaxing, so the occupants of the vehicle accelerated sharply with the rear door open, forcing the animal to tumble out the back.
The men then set upon the mare, giving her a severe beating.
Police were called and a veterinarian euthanised the horse because of her injuries around 6.30pm.
The trust said a welfare officer had talked with the veterinarian who attended the incident. The vet confirmed the horse had been badly beaten, but its legs had not been broken, as earlier reports had suggested.
Five horses in the immediate area were impounded, but the location of the remaining animals was uncertain.
Authorities are believed to have an idea who owned the horse.
Meanwhile, the group Voices Against Neglect & Abuse of all Horses (VANAH) posted a €500 reward in the case.
It said a supporter had donated the reward money for information that led to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the attack.
“We know there is fear of reprisals of anyone speaking out and disclosing evidence, but please be assured that the gardai [police] will accept your calls in complete confidence and will support you for speaking out,” the group said.
“The gardai cannot act without any help or witness brave enough to stand up and speak out to get action.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Wicklow police on 0404 60140.