A FOAL whose skin was being “eaten alive” by maggots after he was rescued from a field in Leeds village is responding well to treatment.
Buggy, as he was named by rescuers, was helped by charity World Horse Welfare after he was discovered by a member of the public in a field with four other horses in Hillam, east of Leeds, in May.
The pony, who was then just a few months old, was in urgent need of veterinary attention - painfully thin and with a maggot infestation, which had developed in untreated wounds on his back and rump as a result of lice.
Other horses were left without fresh water and in serious need of attention.
World Horse Welfare field officer, Sarah Tucker, who went to the horses in the field, said: “As I walked over to the pony, the smell was absolutely putrid even from six feet away. I could hear the maggots making a ‘crackling’ sound as they burrowed through his skin. It was like his skin was moving as he was so covered in them and he understandably looked very uncomfortable and dejected.”
A vet from Minster Veterinary Practice in York arrived with RSPCA Inspector, Claire Mitchell, and the local police so that Buggy could be removed under the Animal Welfare Act and transported to safety. He was put on a drip and received urgent care in York before later moving to World Horse Welfare in Lancashire, where he is recovering.
Ms Tucker added: “I would say this is one of the most horrific cases of neglect that I’ve seen in the years I’ve worked for World Horse Welfare. It’s shocking to think that Buggy has been left in this terrible condition for and that if he’d been found just one or two days later it would have been too late.
“In addition to Buggy’s awful maggot-infested wounds, the whole field was full of ragwort, all five of the horses’ hooves were in serious need of trimming and there was no fresh water supply for them to drink. Thankfully, they are now all in the safety of World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Lancashire and Buggy is on the road to recovery.”
She is joining the RSPCA is appealing to the public for information on who owns the horses.
Ms Mitchell said: “Poor Buggy was in a sorry state when we were called out to him, we’re really glad he is now receiving the care and treatment he desperately needs. His skin condition is absolutely appalling and he will have been extremely uncomfortable, it’s shocking that somebody could have left him to suffer like this.
“We’d be very keen to hear from anybody with any information as to who owns the horses. They can leave me a message in complete confidence by calling 0300 123 8018.”
To donate to World Horse Welfare visit www.worldhorsewelfare.org/donate