A young pony who was so badly abused that he showed early signs of rot was rescued in Cork city this week.
Mikey, a miniature pony, was found by a member of the public tied to a gate near a housing estate on the north side of the city on Wednesday.
Staff from the My Lovely Horse Rescue charity were called and arrived to find him with bruises, dog bites, cuts and rope burns to his neck.
The build-up of injuries and infection on his neck meant he was struggling to breath.
The annual appeared traumatised and was “stood still, shut down” as the My Lovely Horse team led him away.
He has been treated by a vet and is now fighting for his life.
It is one of the worst cases of animal abuse the charity has ever seen, it said.
“We believe that if he hadn’t have been found by the member of the public when he was he would be dead in a day or two,” My Lovely Horse’s Kelly Mellerick told the Irish Examiner.
“We just have to question how people can do such acts to a defenceless little animal like this.
“He’s doing his best to live and he has eaten a little but the next few days are critical.”
With the cost of his vet bills, medication, feed and bedding is adding up, the charity is asking for the public’s help to pay for Mikey’s rehabilitation.
In less than 24 hours, €6,696 of its €10,000 goal has been reached on a GoFundMe page for the pony.
The support for Mikey so far has been “overwhelming”, My Lovely Horse said today.
“We wish he knew the support and well wishes he’s getting from all over the country and beyond,” it wrote on Facebook.
“Thank you for the donations that have been sent in his name.”
You can donate to Mikey’s fund here.