A vet is offering a reward for information leading to the identification of criminals who dumped a fatally-injured horse – leaving it to die in the night.
Police and the RSPCA were called to Meadow Lane, Shirebrook, after the young horse was found abandoned on a rubbish heap, yards from where other horses graze.
Dog-walkers made the grim discovery late at night on Tuesday, November 22, and contacted Derbyshire Police and the RSPCA.
But both the force and the animal charity have come under fire for not responding to the report until the following day – leaving the animal to die alone overnight.
The inaction by authorities has prompted a animal lovers to offer a hefty reward in the hope witnesses will come forward.
Veterinary surgeon Janice Dixon, together with Rose Wilson, of Trent Valley Equestrian Centre, are offering £2,000 to whoever can provide crucial information which secures a conviction in court.
Miss Dixon, aged 47, said: “Somebody knows what’s going on here. I’ve heard two horses were also dumped in exactly the same spot but nobody will come forward and verify this because they’re too frightened to speak.
“Whoever’s done that deserves to be convicted. It’s an appalling crime – it’s absolutely disgraceful.”
The horse lovers, who are trustees for rescue centre Help for Horses, said this horse’s fate is the extreme of a growing problem.
Miss Dixon, of Rainworth, said: “People have always perpetually bred these coloured cobs, but financially they’re worthless.
“They go for £5 at auction, so they so often end up at the scrap heap of life, which sadly in this case is actually what happened.”
And additionally, she is appalled by the inaction of authorities but said there is wider issue around the police delegating so much wildlife crime to a charity to investigate.
She added: "Having the RSPCA deal with every crime against animals is like making the NSPCC investigate every crime against children. The police and the council must have some role here
"There should be an incident number - this was a case of fly-tipping at the very least, if not animal cruelty - so why isn't it being investigated by police and the council?"
Jason Downs, 43, discovered the horse near the Sports Direct headquarters.
He said: “The dog started barking at something and as we approached, the horse started thrashing about in the water. I reported it to police.
“That poor horse. I hope whoever did it is prosecuted.”
Local farmer Tony Perrin said police initially contacted him and asked if he would go to the scene to assist.
He said: “It was awful – when I arrived it was still alive. This is the second time this has happened down here.
“How can they get away with doing that? I think they’re evil. For it to suffer like that, they’ve clearly tried to kill it by breaking its neck and then just dumped it there.”
There were also reports of a pregnant filly dumped in Shirebrook on October 18.
Readers online were outraged by the shocking discovery.
Emma Renshaw said: “Why are we still doing these evil deplorable sick things to animals? They have feelings too. One look at my dog and my heart sinks when I think of what people do to them.”
Pamela Hodgkinson said: “There are some evil people in this world. I just hope they get what they deserve.”
If you witnessed the incident or have information that could secure a conviction of the offenders, call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018 in the first instance.