Rescuers devastated after mule stabbed in the face in 'vile, cowardly attack'

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Andy Dickenson

The hard work to rehabilitate a rescue mule could be 'undone' after he was stabbed in the face in an attack, according to his rescuers.

Tommy, who has been in the care of the Undercliff Pony Rescue in Rye, was brutally stabbed in the face on Sunday night (8 August).

The wound went through his cheek, shattering teeth that had to be extracted.

Vets spent around two hours stitching him up and administering medication.

Credit: ITV News Meridian

The Undercliff Pony Rescue has described it as a 'vile, cowardly attack on a defenceless animal'.

Owner Sharon Baker said: "How can anybody do that? Everybody knows they are rescued horses.

"So for somebody to come along and do what they've done, is just beyond belief."

Sharon and her team have thanked the community for their support, after a fundraising page to help pay for Tommy's vet bill received more than £2,000.

The 20-year-old mule, who before coming to Undercliff had a lifetime of neglect, has now moved out of the field to a friend's yard, where 'he can be monitored and recover in peace'.

Volunteer Catherine Pratt said: "We're trying to give these animals a happy life after they've had rough upbringings, been abandoned, had no love, care and attention.

"Now we're having to give him medical care two times a day, washing the wounds, giving him antibiotics, painkillers and he sort of comes to people but not as much as he did.

"It's taken years to get him the trust that he has in humans and one cruel act has turned that around and pretty much ruined it for him."

The incident has been reported to Sussex Police and anyone with information is being asked to contact officers, quoting crime reference SXP-20210809-0620.