A PONY was beaten to within an inch of its life in Moyross by a bunch of thugs high on drink and drugs, who even drove a car at the defenceless animal say Limerick Animal Welfare.
The 10 month-old pony had to be put down days later due to its injuries. Jodie Hayward, from the charity, said they received a phone call late on Friday night from â€œa very scared young ladyâ€.
â€œShe explained that people were trying to load the pony onto a horse box and that he fell down. He was then beaten and kicked to try to get him up. They then beat and dragged him out of sight and what happened then cannot even be put into words,â€ said Ms Hayward.
When they arrived on the scene, across from the health centre in Moyross, early the following morning they were told â€œthey did a job on himâ€.
They heard he was hit by a car, beaten with planks of wood and kicked.
â€œHe took an awful battering. His eye was swollen and he had a nasty and very old injury to one of his back legs. He was hot all over despite it being such a cold morning - he was literally swelling up from all the bruising. He had taken one of the severest beatings any animal could take and survive,â€ said Ms Hayward, who called the pony Pudsy after the Children in Need bear.
She could only tell he was alive from the slight rise and fall of his rib cage.
â€œHis soul was broken, he had given up. You could just see it in his eyes,â€ she said.
With the assistance of Gardai, a vet and many local people they managed to load Pudsy in to a horse box.
â€œThe local people were absolutely horrified by what had happened. All the young lads going off to soccer training were shocked and helped us. More people came out from their homes and helped lift the pony in to the horse box,â€ said Ms Hayward, who added that it was only a tiny minority involved in the cruelty.
Pudsy got the best veterinary care available in the sanctuary but was unable to get back to his feet. His condition worsened and despite the best efforts of staff he had to be put to sleep.
â€œAt least he died knowing weâ€™re not all bad,â€ said the Kilfinane sanctuary manager.
She says it is unlikely that there will be any prosecutions as the horse isnâ€™t microchipped.
â€œThereâ€™s no way of tracing the owner. They wonâ€™t come forward,â€ said Ms Hayward.
It was the second time in two days they had to come in to the city.
â€œOn Friday we were called by a dog walker about another pony in Shannon Fields in Corbally. He was tethered to a tree. There is a deep gash wound in the back of one of his legs where he got caught up in the rope.
â€œIt went right down to the tendon. He has no hair on one side. Weâ€™re treating him for mites. As we wash him every day more hair is falling out,â€ said Ms Hayward.
â€œThese two have never known any comfort until they came to us,â€ she said sadly.