A pony found abandoned and injured in Middlesex is recovering today after emergency surgery.
"Elf" was one of three ponies found wandering on the road near Uxbridge.
They are just the latest in what the RSPCA is warning is a growing trend of horses being abandoned, often because their owners can't afford to care for them.
Piers Hopkirk reports.
A pony that was found wondering in Uxbridge suffering head injuries is being nursed back to health at the Royal Veterinary College equine hospital.
"Elf" is one of three ponies that the RSPCA rescued from a road near Denham.
He needed surgery to treat deep cuts on his muzzle, cheek and forehead.
The RSPCA is trying to find the owners a pony found with serious injuries in Denham near Uxbridge.
RSPCA inspectors say the pony, dubbed Elf, was struggling to breathe because of a rope tied around its neck, which left deep cuts in the animal's muzzle, cheeks and forehead.
Police officers called the RSCPA to help them round up three ponies that had strayed onto the road.
Inspector Leanna Rice says: "It was clear no-one had been caring properly for these ponies because Elf had a rope halter on that had become too small as he grew.
"His worst wound was… so bad that there is a hole through to his sinuses."
Elf is currently being looked after by vets and will be operated on once strong enough.
Anyone with information about Elf or his owners are asked to call the RSPCA.