The RSPCA is appealing for information after a three-year-old pony was shot by a crossbow on Wednesday (23 October).
Chesney, a section A Welsh Mountain pony, was in his field as usual off Kingston Lane, East Preston, Little Hampton when his owner found him at about 5.45pm on Wednesday evening. The bolt was protruding from his chest.
A vet was called immediately and the bolt was removed at the location. Chesney then had to be treated with anti-inflammatories, painkillers, anti-tetanus medication and intravenous fluids.
The vet found that the bolt was embedded nine inches deep in Chesney’s chest and said that had it hit him just an inch or two to the right or left it could have struck a vital organ and the pony may not have survived.
The attack happened at some point between 6.40am when the horses were let out of their stables and 5.45pm when Chesney was found.
The police were called as well as the RSPCA and enquiries are taking place throughout the area. Two boys thought to be aged between 10 and 12 years old were spotted near the field at about 2pm, but it is not known if they had anything to do with the incident.
Chesney is owned by Phil Roberts’ mother in law and lives in the field with the family’s 19-year-old thoroughbred. Mr Roberts, of nearby Angmering, said: “This was a huge shock. Poor Chesney has had to endure so much pain and then lots of injections but it is so lucky that this wasn’t far worse – the bolt could easily have caused a much more serious injury.
“He is still being monitored as his heart rate is high and there is a risk of internal bleeding but we hope he will be OK.
“We only lost our 37 year old horse to colic on Friday so it’s awful to now see Chesney suffering like this.
“We desperately want to find out who did this to stop any other animals having to go through the same ordeal.”
RSPCA inspector Rebecca Carter said: “The police are still carrying out local enquiries and we urge anyone who knows who was behind this attack to contact them or the RSPCA.”
Those with information should call the RSPCA on the inspector information line – 0300 123 8018. Calls are in confidence.
They can also call the police on 101 quoting 1543 of 23/10, email email@example.com or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).