The devastated owner of a Shetland pony which was found mutilated in a field says she has been left ‘overwhelmed’ by people’s kindness.
Wendy Redpath was left distraught when she discovered 12-year-old Bobby dead in a field in Cleadon Lane on November 3.
The pony, who has been taken in by Mrs Redpath and had foot problems had been severely mutilated.
His genitals and bottom lip had been hacked off, his stomach slashed and his mane was cut off.
Police say the multiple injuries were caused deliberately.
The sheer brutality of the killing left our readers shocked and disgusted – with hundreds of people taking to social media to express their horror and to plead for anyone for information to come forward. A crowdfunding page set up to raise £500 for a reward in a bid to help catch the killer smashed its target within days.
I’ve been stopped by people when I’ve been at the field asking if I’m the owner. People are genuinely upset by what happened to him.Wendy Redpath
It currently stands at almost £3,000.
Mrs Redpath, who has owned horses all her life, said: “I’m just trying to get on with things the best I can.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the response. People have been so kind with their words and support.
“I’ve had lots of messages on Facebook, I’m trying to get back to everyone to thank them personally but there are so many.
“What happened to Bobby has left everyone shocked. I’ve been stopped by people when I’ve been at the field asking if I’m the owner. People are genuinely upset by what happened to him. “
The Shetland Pony had come into Mrs Redpath’s care four years ago after he was advertised on a specialist re-homing website. Due to him having twisted feet and breathing problems he couldn’t be ridden or run fast or far.
Bobby’s story touched the hearts of animal lovers across the country with people making donations to the reward fund, including one little girl who asked her mum not to buy her a birthday present but to donate to the fund instead.
Mrs Redpath, from South Shields, added: “There are a lot of people who are animal lovers and can’t believe something like has happened and people want answers.
“The way people have donated to the reward fund has been incredible and some of the messages have been lovely and people have been so kind.
“I think seeing Bobby as he was people don’t want this to happen again.”
Anyone with information on the killing is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1050 03/11/16. People can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111
To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/BobbyPony?