GARDAI in Clondalkin are hunting a heartless duo who dumped two severely emaciated horses on the roadside.
One of the stricken animals was so malnourished it could not stand and it had to be put to sleep by a vet on the spot.
The neglected cobs were taken from a passing trailer which stopped near the roundabout on the Fonthill Road at around 2.35pm on Monday.
In a sickening case of animal cruelty, the driver and accomplice took the animals from the vehicle and, despite their obvious distress, left them to die on the roadside.
Eye witness Anna Dolan said: “I was driving past the roundabout when I saw the car and trailer with one horse sitting on the ground that looked very sick and another one they were trying to get out of the trailer.
“The poor horse was emaciated and could not stand up and when the vet assessed it he decided it had to be put down.”
Anna, who is involved with My Lovely Horse Rescue, regularly tends to abandoned and neglected horses dumped in the green area at Fonthill which has become known as the “killing fields”.
Last month The Gazette reported how a number of MLHR volunteers were chased from the fields – where up to 20 burnt out cars have been spotted at any one time – by joyriders who were speeding perilously close to distressed horses.
Anna said: “This is a regular occurrence. We are constantly taking horses out of here. A few have to be euthanised. It is very distressing.”
The surviving cob, which is severely malnourished, is now being cared for at the Rathfarnham base of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
DSPCA spokesperson Gillian Bird said the root cause of most horse neglect was overbreeding, adding: “This is due to a lack of education.”
Cllr Mark Ward (SF) condemned the latest act of cruelty. He reiterated his call for the establishment of a horse welfare forum involving SDCC, gardai, MLHR, Clondalkin Equine Club and others.
He added: “Emaciated horses are being brought to Clondalkin and let onto waste ground… left to roam without adequate food, water or shelter. My desire to form a forum met with a lukewarm reception by SDCC.”
Just last week two horses kept in deplorable conditions at St Cuthbert’s Park were seized and had to be put to sleep. Of 600 horses euthanised in Dublin last year, South Dublin County Council had the highest number at 256.
Gardai are appealing for witnesses and hope CCTV or dashcam footage will give them the registration of the vehicle the horses were dumped from and lead them to the perpetrators.