Whilst investigating an allegation of animal cruelty concerning horses in the Western suburbs of Cork City, ISPCA Inspector Lisa O'Donovan came across a young male foal in an isolated area away from the rest of the herd. The foal aged about 5-6 months was lying in a secluded area and was nearly overlooked as he was resting in among trees.
Ernie, as he is now known, was dull, depressed and lethargic. "I've never seen such a young foal, so lifeless" remarked Inspector O'Donovan, “the presence of the head collar, would suggest that this young animal had been handled. I was concerned for his lack of condition and subdued temperament."
Local enquiries suggested that it had been removed from its mother in previous weeks and had been ridden by people. "This animal is far too young to be separated from its mother," said Inspector O'Donovan "and certainly far too young to be ridden. An additional concern I had was there was a skeletal remains of a horse in the same region. It was my belief that Ernie was being used for riding and then would have been abandoned here."
Inspector O'Donovan secured the surrender of the young foal and removed it the ISPCA Rescue Centre, where he was assessed by the Vet. The prognosis for Ernie is very good and within a week of his rescue he showed remarkable signs of improvement.
Ernie will be available for adoption next year. He has a lovely personality and is responding very well to the care and attention he is receiving from his carers. "Ernie was lucky that we happened to come across him," added Inspector O'Donovan, "I suspect that if he had not been discovered he would have not survived for much longer".