Pictures : MARK JAMIESON
Charlie, a beloved family pet horse who was ‘kidnapped’ and shackled with rusty chains and gelded is lucky to be alive according to the USPCA.
Charlie’s owner Rebecca Mitchell said ‘I was really sad when he went missing. I was worrying so much, I could barely sleep at night”.
However with the help of the public and a social media campaign set up by Rebecca’s father, Charlie, was found a month later injured in another field three miles away.
There were numerous calls made of alleged sightings throughout the Borough with one caller adamant the horse has been sold to someone in Dungiven.
When Rebecca’s father Jason found him, he shed a tear to see the state his kidnappers had found him. Jason said ‘Charlie could barely stand, and his back legs were covered in blood. He had clearly been gelded and it looked like it has been done by a butcher with a Stanley knife and a set of pliers. There were rust marks on his legs where he must have been shackled by chains while they gelded him and he was in severe pain”
Jason said that he was convinced Charlie was being prepared to be sold as he was worth roughly £1,500 and that the social media campaign they launched to get him back meant the thieves decided it was to risky and let left him back.
A spokesperson for the USPCA said “The brutality and suffering inflicted on this animal is appalling. A two year custodial sentence is available to the courts and imposing it in this case may deleter would-be abusers”.
The Police Service Of Northern Ireland and Animal Welfare enquires are continuing.