Staff at HorseWorld in Whitchurch are appealing to thieves to show some compassion after a heartless break-in at the weekend.
Arriving on Monday morning they discovered that special equipment needed to ease the condition of some of horses had been stolen. This included an expensive eye mask which blocks UV rays and used by Beatty, a pony rescued in 2004 which suffers with an eye condition.
Assistant Yard Manager Vicky Greenslade says that without the mask, Beatty would eventually go blind.
“She has only had this mask for a month. It was generously donated by Guardian Mask, the only company who make them and was imported from America to save Beatty’s sight.
“Being a horse rescue charity, ours are not ordinary horses. Many have medical problems that require on-going treatment. Each and every horse is kept in a specific way to tend to their individual needs. It is possible that the people who did this didn’t realise the severe consequences of their actions.
“The same night, two more ponies had their fly rugs removed and placed over the electric fence to enable someone to move the electric fence without getting a shock. These two ponies are very allergic to midge bites (a condition called Sweet-itch) and mustn’t be left uncovered during the summer months. They now have to be treated for a reaction to the midge bites they suffered as a result of their rugs being removed.
“The person (or people) who moved the electric fence did so with the purpose of stopping the ponies from reaching their hay. These ponies are on a track system with hay placed at specific points around the track to encourage movement. They cannot have grass during the summer months as they have previously suffered from Laminitis. The hay that they were prevented from reaching was their only source of food. We don’t know how long they were prevented from reaching their hay but it was lucky they didn’t get colic.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve had problems like this. We have found broken fence posts, horses released onto unsuitable grazing and even graffiti.
“We are appealing for whoever did this to return Beatty’s mask as they cost around £150. If the person does not wish to be identified, they can just leave the mask on a fence post where we can easily find it when we are checking the horses.
Anyone with information on who may have been involved, is asked to contact HorseWorld or the Police. If you would like to donate to help HorseWorld buy Beatty a new mask, please press the Donate button at www.horseworld.org.uk or call 01275 893020.