Story By: Sofija Dizdarevik, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
This shocking image shows a horse whose hooves had been allowed to grow unclipped for years and had become so long that the animal could no longer stand.
The pictures were made public by German animal protection agent Judith Pein who was given a tip off that the horse and other animals were being kept in poor conditions at a horse stable in Lutzen near Leipzig.
But she said she had no idea of the scale of abuse until she went there in November last year and saw the horror inside where this poor horse was left with huge, curved hooves after the owner had failed to cut them.
She said: “The straw was fresh, on the outside everything looked good, but inside the animals was simply lying there and suffering. It was like in a horror film!”
She took pictures of the animals and drove herself to the local authorities head veterinarian, Dr. Andrea Krueger-Roethe, who acted immediately. The head vet said she had “never seen anything like it”
Because it was not possible to transport the animals, they were examined on the site by experts from the University clinic Leipzig, who used a mobile x-ray and tranquillised the horses first.
One of the horses was regarded as being so seriously ill that it was decided to put it out of its misery.
Quizzed about the shocking state of the animals Judith Pein said the owner tried to make excuses, saying the blacksmith had let him down, his wife was blind and that he was seriously ill and struggling to care for them.
She said: “These are all excuses, he only needed to call the animal protection group to get help.”
New owners have been found for the two surviving animals who are visited by the animal protection agent Judith in January, who said they were well on the way to mending, but would still need a long time to heal properly.
The previous owner meanwhile has been given a ban on owning animals and is facing prosecution for cruelty.
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