Shetland pony died following 'shocking' attack in Sunderland

Murphy, the Shetland pony, was put to sleep after the attack
Murphy, the Shetland pony, was put to sleep after the attack
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RSPCA inspectors have condemned a 'deliberate attack' where a Shetland pony was slashed and stabbed at a Sunderland allotment site.

The animal welfare charity is now appealing for information after the pony, called Murphy, was attacked at Downhill Allotments, off Rhodesia Road, at around 1am.

A second horse was killed in a suspected arson where a stables was set alight.

Related: One horse stabbed to death and another dies in fire at Sunderland allotment site
RSPCA inspector Terri Ann Fannon, who went to the scene, said: “It was an absolutely terrible thing to have to deal with.

“We were told that one horse died in the fire.

“Murphy was in an awful state. He was very distressed, as you’d expect.

“He had numerous slash and stab injuries all over his body. One stab wound on his back left knee was so deep the damage was irreparable.

“Very sadly the vet decided that there was no other option but to put him to sleep.”

There were a number of people at the scene but unfortunately Murphy’s owner remains unknown to the RSPCA.

The charity is urging them to get in touch to help with its investigation.

Murphy is described as an appaloosa Shetland pony stallion, age unknown. Pictures of his injuries were too graphic to be published.

RSPCA Inspector Trevor Walker has now taken on the investigation. He said: “Clearly this was a deliberate attack. It’s absolutely shocking that someone would do something like this.

“Anyone with any information, or who saw anything that might help me to find who is responsible, should call our appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and ask to leave a message for me.”

Emergency services were called the fire this morning at 12.55am to a car alight which spread to a nearby stables and kennels.

A spokesperson for Northumbria said: “At 1.36am today, police received a report of a fire at a stable in Rhodesia Road, Sunderland.

“Emergency services attended and found a car alight. The fire had also spread to a nearby stable, where a horse was found deceased within.

"Police are treating the fire as suspected arson."

To help the RSPCA continue investigating incidents like this please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give