A grandmother was shocked to find a pony dumped in her garden, after her teenage daughter replied to an ad online without her knowledge in an attempt to save it.
The colt, which looked to be underweight and was covered in mites, was left in the backyard of a house in Stoke-on-Trent last month, after a 13-year-old girl saw an ad which said that if no one claimed the animal it would be put to sleep. She got in touch and gave her nan's address - without her knowing - and the owner turned up and dumped the pony without giving any advice or information.
When the grandmother discovered the pony, she got in touch with World Horse Welfare, who contacted the RSPCA.
RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin, who attended the property to check over the horse, said: "You couldn't make this up.
"A 13-year-old girl responded to a plea on an online free ads site where a lady said she didn't want the pony anymore and that he would be put to sleep if no one had him.
"She gave her nan's address and the next thing that happened was a man just came along and dumped the pony there, no words of advice or anything like that - and leaving a very shocked nan.
"We don't know where this poor pony came from but he clearly was not treated well before being abandoned.
"We have come to a dead end in trying to find out further information so we are appealing for anybody who can help us to get in touch.
The pony, who has been given the amazing name Mr Melvin Andrews, is now in the care of World Horse Welfare.
Field officer Rachel Andrews has said she hopes this isn't the start of a worrying new trend.
She added: "We're seeing sick or young ponies being dumped and abandoned when their owners no longer want them, and it would be a worry if online free ad sites are used in this way.
"Many provide advice on the commitment required to take on a horse.
"Every horse and pony deserves responsible ownership, which includes responsible breeding, selling and rehoming.
"We're just glad that Melvin the pony has settled in well at our Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre and has already shown himself to be lovely a little pony and we hope in time we can find him a good home."
Anyone who has any information is asked to call the RSPCA's appeals line on 0300 123 8018 or World Horse Welfare at 08000 480 180.Featured Image Credit: SWNS