RSPCA officers have warned horses and motorists could have been killed after it is thought they were released onto a Peterborough housing estate ‘as a joke.’
The RSPCA were called on Saturday morning (1 July) to reports of 10 ponies roaming around a housing estate in Peterborough.
RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs, officers from Cambridgeshire Police and volunteers from Fenland Animal Rescue attended Scalford Drive and worked together to herd the horses back to the safety of their field.
“We believe someone opened the gate and released the horses during the night,” inspector Stubbs explained.
“To do something so foolish, probably as a joke, is extremely careless and irresponsible. These horses could have easily strayed onto a busy road and been hurt or killed if involved in an accident. This also put the lives of drivers at risk.
“Unfortunately we weren’t able to contact the owner but, luckily, between all of us, we were able to round them up and walk the ponies the half a mile journey through the housing estate and back to their field!
“All were returned safely, unharmed, and were locked back into their paddock.”
The ponies - mostly small cob-types - were all in fairly good condition and were returned to their field nearby.
“This incident could have been much more serious had the herd made their way onto any main roads or into the paths of traffic,” inspector Stubbs added.
“Thankfully, all went well, and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped to ensure that all the horses were safe and sound.
“And I’d like to remind anyone who thinks it is a funny idea to release horses or livestock from their field of the very serious ramifications that silly split-second decision could have.”
If you see a horse or farm animal on a public highway, please report this to your local police force by calling 101.
Anyone who is concerned for the welfare of an animal can contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency hotline by calling 0300 1234 999.