Problems of animal neglect in Hailsham are being investigated after a pony was found starving to death .
The Piebald colt, less than a year old and around 12 hands, had to be humanely destroyed after animal welfare authorities
found it collapsed in a field off Mill Road.
It is believed the animal was dumped and left to die by its heartless owner, who has not been identified, said a spokesman from animal charity World Horse Welfare (WHW).
The charity has been investigating incidents of animal neglect in the town and is working with horse owners.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the Fire and Rescue Service and a vet worked tirelessly to rescue the stricken horse at 4.30pm on January 31.
It was found collapsed on the ground, emaciated and unable to stand unaided.
Alana Chapman, field officer for WHW, said: “We believe the pony had been dumped in the field after getting into trouble when it fell ill, and the owner, rather than look after it, dumped it.”
She added: “We have noticed welfare problems with groups of horses around Hailsham which looked thin, and while they had hay it was not particularly good quality hay.
“We have been working alongside the RSPCA with horse owners in the area and we believe they are making progress, but if anyone has concerns about horses in the area please report it to us.”
The RSPCA is appealing for information about this young pony.
RSPCA inspector Zoe Ballard took part in the rescue. She said: “This was a sad and tragic incident.”
“The poor horse was a in a real state.
It is unacceptable that someone would allow their animal to get into this condition without seeking help,” she added.
“Thanks to the efforts of the RSPCA and the local Fire Service, the horse was rescued from the field but sadly had to be put to sleep shortly after on veterinary advice.
“Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018. Calls will be treated in confidence.
To help the RSPCA investigate incidents like this, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).
To report acts of cruelty to horses call the World Horse Welfare charity on 08000 480180.