Friday, May 28, 2010

Charity ponies' pitbull attack horror

PONIES ridden by disabled children have been left traumatised after mindless hooligans terrorised them with pitbull terriers.
Brookwood Farm in Sparvell Road, Knaphill, is home to seven ponies that are docile enough to allow beginners and people with disabilities to safely ride them.
However, the animals have been left shaken from last weekend’s attack and the yard’s stallion is now terrified of any person or dog that approaches him.
Ponies Bred for the Disabled volunteer Emma Wilde said: “Mindless joyriders chased several of our ponies in a car, then they got in via the Recreation Ground and just smashed through the fence.
“One of our prize-winning stallions was chased and ended up cut and tangled in the fencing wire when he broke through a fence.
“Since then he has been charging relentlessly up and down the field and will not settle. He has clearly been traumatised by this and we cannot get near him at the moment as he is so fearful of humans. This is so unlike him.”
Among the animals is Alicia, a pregnant mare set to deliver her foal in the next few weeks. Volunteers are unsure whether she was also terrorised by the youths but are satisfied, following a veterinary check-up, that she is unharmed.
Sue Clarke, who also volunteers for the charity, said she returned to the farm in the morning to find the fence severed with wire cutters and the ponies bathed in cold sweat.
“One pony went through the wire just to get away from the dogs,” she said.
The ponies have cuts along their bodies, costing the charity £500 in vet bills.
Ms Clarke said: “We’ve contacted the vet about the stallion and he said there’s no point in him coming over because unless we can catch him, he can’t examine him.”
Police community support officers are to step up patrols  to discourage the youths, who are believed to be local, from trying anything else.
Brookwood and Knaphill PCSO Naz Raja said: “What I said to them was I can patrol the area. I changed my shifts on the weekend just gone and I have the code to get into the farm so I can see if anyone is trespassing.”
PCSO Raja did not see anyone behaving suspiciously last weekend but will be continuing to provide an increased presence in the area to prevent similar incidents.
Volunteers have also agreed to allow the police helicopter to land in Brookwood Farm’s fallow fields to help fight crime in the area.
The charity has incurred huge expenses for repairing fences and gates and also faces vet bills for treating the injured and traumatised ponies.
The charity is appealing for extra help. They need anyone with fundraising experience or who can help as an adult volunteer to care for the ponies.
Visit the website at www.poniesbredforthedisabled.com for more information.

Get Surrey

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