AN animal rescue charity is reporting an alarming increase in the number of abandoned horses.
The RSPCA received 630 calls about abandoned horses, ponies and donkeys in 2009 and 662 last year.
By the end of July this year the charity had already taken 420 calls.
The increase is blamed on the difficult economic climate and long, cold winters, which make horse ownership harder and more expensive than ever.
The number of horses re-homed by the charity has risen from 32 in 2006 to 156 in 2010, and it spends at least £5,000 caring and rehabilitating each horse it takes in.