The latest equine rescue by Spanish charity Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre points to a worrying trend of abandoned horses, the organisation’s founder said yesterday.

“When we started the centre nine years ago, we were rescuing animals that had been locked away and left to starve,” Sue Weeding said. “Now they’re literally being dumped in the streets.”

The pony stallion, now named Fudge by the centre, was found tied to a tree on a street in Algorfa, which is south of Alicante, and near to where EHCRC is based.

The rescue was conducted with help from Almorandi police.

Fudge had been left in the heat with no water or food. The rescuers said he had signs of abuse.

After some time at EHRC, he began to respond to treatment and for the first time since he was found began to raise his head, nuzzling those who were looking after him.

“When we arrived to rescue him, he wouldn’t even lift his head,” explained Weeding. “Now he calls out to us and eats all day. I think he believes he’s in paradise now.”

“This old boy is about 20 years old and it’s absolutely heartbreaking to think what he’s suffered through. We’ll just take it one step at a time. Whatever the outcome, we will give him anything and everything he needs, and a whole lot of love on top.”

Mike Dunne