The RSPCA has warned of a horse crisis after residents discovered a dead foal callously dumped near a popular Doncaster walking trail.
The heartbreaking discovery, made in a ditch on Hollin Bridge Road, Hatfield Woodhouse, is the second incident of its kind in the area in the last year alone.
Inspectors at the animal charity are now appealing for information in a bid to catch the culprits.
The incident comes as the RSPCA and other horse welfare charities warn there is a horse crisis as they struggle to cope with numbers of abandoned, neglected and abused horses.
Officers at the RSPCA say it is becoming more common for irresponsible owners to dump dead horses rather than stump up the £200 for them to be disposed of correctly.
Sheila Bacon, who lives on Moore Dike Road in the town, said: “it’s so upsetting a disgusting to think that someone would just dump this poor animal.
“A lot of families with young children walk along this stretch.
“This is the second time it’s happened now, there was another horse dumped here last winter.
“It’s dreadful, I can only assume the people responsible did not want to pay the money it would cost to have the foal taken away.”
A RSPCA spokesman said were concerned by the shock discovery.
He said they had hundreds of horses and ponies in their care and they were facing a ‘crisis’.
Owners who no longer wanted their animals were dumping them because it was cheaper than disposing of them correctly.
He said: “We share residents’ concerns regarding the foal that was found dead by the roadside in Doncaster and we sympathise with anyone who came across him as these scenes are distressing.
“The RSPCA and other horse charities are experiencing a horse crisis.
“We have about 120 places at our equine centres but more than 550 horses and ponies in our care – most in private boarding and with foster carers.
“The crisis is leading to more horses being abandoned and fly-grazed on other people’s land and it appears to be more common for irresponsible owners to dump dead horses and ponies as it can cost around £200 to dispose of them correctly.”
The body of the foal has now been removed by Doncaster Council but not before many residents saw the upsetting scene.
n If anyone wants to report a dead animal that has been disposed of incorrectly, please phone the council on 01302 736000 or use the MyDoncaster app to report it
n Anyone with information about the circumstances surrounding this incident contact the RSPCA inspectorate appeal number on 0300 1238018.