A SICK pony has been abandoned next to a motorway and left to die, just days after having a foal.
The two foot tall pony was dumped in Belton on Saturday, with serious internal injuries after giving birth.
But luckily for the animal it was discovered by horse owner Vicki Muscroft-Cook, who paid £140 to call out a vet who administered life saving treatment.
She said: “She was in a very bad way and the vet said she could have been like that for a week.
“We are right next to the motorway and another main road so she could have easily ended up on there and caused a pile up.
“I honestly don’t know how anyone could do this to a horse.”
Vicki has now taken in the pony, which she has called Minnie, who will live with her four other horses once she has recovered.
Minnie is currently receiving daily injections of anti-biotics to cure an infection following her ordeal.
Her foal has not been found so it is not known whether it is still alive, Vicki said.
Minnie’s ordeal comes as North Lincolnshire Council this week introduced its Horse Watch scheme aimed at prosecuting anyone who injures, is cruel or neglects a horse.
Under the scheme council bosses will work police, horse owners, vets, animal organisations and equine businesses to share information and to help catch and bring to justice anyone being cruel to the animals.
This year there have already been cases of a horse having its tail and mane being cut off and thefts of thousands of pounds of equipment from equine premises on the Isle of Axholme.
Amanda Barnett, equine liaison and wildlife crime officer for South Bank Division, said: “Theft of horses is relatively low in our policing area.
“However, the Horse Watch scheme highlights the potential for owners to lose their animals to thieves.
“It’s not just the horses that thieves target but also equine equipment including tack and trailers.
“By joining the Horse Watch scheme, it will enable owners to share information and hopefully reduce this type of crime that will also lead to the detection of offenders.”
Stuart Minto, head of safer neighbourhoods at North Lincolnshire Council, added: “I welcome this initiative to help tackle horse crime.
“It will bring together the agencies involved with horses - including vets, livery yards, the police, council, and horse owners.
“It will make it much easier to detect and report horse crime - whether it’s cruelty to horses or theft. And the beauty of it is that people can share vital information that will hopefully lead to arrest.”
To report a horse crime contact the Humberside Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.