Two horses have died at an allotment site in Sunderland - one in a suspected arson and the other after being attacked with a knife.
A horse has died in the blaze a Downhill allotments, off Rhodesia Road, Sunderland, which is being treated as a suspected arson.
A Shetland pony was found with in a distressed state with cuts and slashes to its body which are believed to have been caused in an attack with a knife.
Vets then made the decision to put the pony to sleep.
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.
“A second horse was found deceased outside the stable. It is believed that it was killed as a result of being attacked with a knife.
“Inquiries are ongoing. Anyone who saw anything suspicious is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 051 070918.”
A stables, kennels and a car were severely damaged in the blaze.
A spokesman for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: "Crews from Marley Park and Sunderland Central were called to the fire at Downhill allotments off Rhodesia Road at 12.55am.
"The stables, kennels and a car were severely damaged.
"Several animals were involved and sadly a horse has died. A Shetland pony which was nearby has suffered some injuries."
The cause of the fire is not yet known and Northumbria Police and the RSPCA are currently investigating.