Animal sanctuary 'sick with worry' as horse suffers 'disturbing' injuries

Staff at an animal sanctuary in Aberdeenshire have been left devastated after their “oldest and most vulnerable” horse was left with serious and “disturbing” injuries.

Cheyenne, a 40-year-old horse in the care of Willows Animal Sanctuary and Assisted Therapy Unit in Fraserburgh, was found to be suffering external and internal injuries by a vet after staff at the sanctuary found her tail covered in blood.

The staff member had arrived on Tuesday morning to give Cheyenne her breakfast when they noticed her behaving in an unusual manner.

The sanctuary said: “Cheyenne kept running away and didn’t want to be caught which is very unusual and it took a long time to catch her. Once caught, the staff member in question noticed that Cheyenne had blood all over her tail.

“The vet was sent for and Cheyenne was sedated and examined and what she found was so disturbing that she urged us to contact the police. Upon closer inspection, it had become obvious that Cheyenne had external and internal injuries which we have decided not to describe here as it’s very upsetting.”

Cheyenne is a particularly vulnerable animal as she only has one eye and does not have many teeth left.

The sanctuary say she requires a “lot of TLC” in order to maintain her health.

The centre said: “No one can be sure exactly what has happened, but it is a distinct possibility that this injury was inflicted on her by a person and it seems some sort of object has been inserted in her.

“Police have been out and they were incredibly kind and took a lot of time to help us search the field for anything she could have injured herself on. Several people have searched the field and no one can find anything.”

Other animal residents at the sanctuary have been checked and are unharmed, however staff say they are now “sick worry about the uncertainty of what’s happened to our girl”.

They added: “She is meant to be safe in our sanctuary and she shouldn’t have had to go through this.”

The horse is now on strong antibiotics with the vet keeping a close eye on her.

Police say an investigation has been carried out but officers have yet been able to establish criminality.

Willows is a sanctuary for many elderly animals who may be unlikely to find a home elsewhere, some of which have suffered abuse and exploitation.

The sanctuary includes a cat hotel, a donkey barn and a wildlife pond with a coffee shop and wildlife walk for visitors.