A HORSE found tied to a gate was so badly injured it had to be put down.

The RSPCA was called with concerns for the welfare of the piebald stallion on Sunday (July 28) after he was discovered tied to a metal gate in Rod Lane, in Ilford, at Ilton.

The horse, which was tightly tethered to the gate with orange baler twine, had injuries to his front right leg and was completely lame and unable to bear weight upon it.

He had also been left without water and without shelter from the blazing sun.

His injuries were so severe that he was put to sleep on independent veterinary advice to stop him suffering further.

He wasn’t microchipped so it hasn’t been possible to trace an owner.

RSPCA Inspector Marie Griffiths, who is investigating for the charity, said: "It is a horrendously cruel thing to do to abandon an injured horse.

"I would really like to hear if anyone knows who left him there, severely injured and without water or shelter."

Anyone with information can contact the RSPCA appeal line on 0300-1238018.

The RSPCA has been dealing with the effects of the horse crisis for almost seven years, seeing horses up and down the country dumped like rubbish, sick, dying or dead.

Like many other horse welfare charities, the RSPCA is under huge pressure, currently caring for more than 900 horses and ponies, and receiving up to 45 calls a day about neglected, abandoned and suffering horses.

Last year the charity took in 848 horses across England and Wales, and offered advice and support to many more owners.

The RSPCA is increasingly seeing more situations involving multiple neglected and suffering horses, sometimes more than 100 at the same site, which puts an enormous strain on its resources.