PONIES with extremely overgrown hooves were seized last week in Dunmanway, having experienced what the ISPCA inspector described as ‘a horrendous form of cruelty’.
ISPCA Inspector Lisa O’Donovan said she responded to a phone call regarding the ponies and, on arrival at the field, there were two mares visible, both with very long hooves.
‘The grey mare in particular had hooves that were so long they were curling up towards her legs. Whilst she was still mobile, she was clearly in great discomfort when moving,’ said Insp O’Donovan, adding: ‘This is a horrendous form of cruelty. There are months and months of growth on these hooves and these poor ponies have endured a lot of suffering. There is no excusing the condition of these animals.’
Both ponies were seized under the Animal Health and Welfare Act and removed to the ISPCA’s Equine Rescue Centre in Mallow, where they were given immediate treatment to make them more comfortable.
Insp O’Donovan said their recovery would be a very slow process. ‘The hooves will need continuous farrier work over a period of time. It is not possible to trim them back in one session as this could cause serious damage to the ponies’ tendons. However, we are very relieved to be able to help these two young ladies along, and are hopeful that they will make a full recovery in time.’
Neither of the ponies were microchipped, so an owner has yet to be identified. An investigation is on-going.