A HORSE sanctuary says it is struggling to cope after an influx of new arrivals.
World Horse Welfare, based at Penny Farm, on Preston New Road, Westby, currently has 52 horses undergoing rehabilitation at its premises and desperately needs to find new homes for them in order to help more animals.
The charity claims it is now at “breaking point” and needs people who can offer a horse a good home to get in contact.
Zoe Clifford, visitor officer at Penny Farm, said: “As a charity we would urge people who are thinking of buying a horse or pony to think carefully about the commitment of both time and money it takes to look after them properly.
“If you believe you can offer a good home to a horse or pony, we encourage you to re-home from a charity rather than buy.
“There are so many advantages to re-homing.”
One of the biggest reasons for the increase in horses being given up over the past few years has been multiple cases whereby owners keep a group of mares specifically for breeding, but then find it difficult to sell the foals.
As a result they end up with large groups of animals they cannot look after.
World Horse Welfare has three other sanctuaries across the country.
Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare said: “The organisation’s already at breaking point with a severe shortage of available places and we are aware of an additional 6,000 horses which could be at risk over the winter.
“These are all groups of horses that are on the edge of becoming welfare concerns, either because their owners are struggling to look after them or because they are not getting the care they need and ownership is unclear.
“We could not cope if even a fraction of this number needed to be rescued.”
Anyone interesting in re-homing a horse should visit Penny Farm on Wednesdays, Saturdays or Sundays to speak to a member of the World Horse Welfare Team.
For more information visit www.worldhorsewelfare.org