The RSPCA today released this shocking picture of a starving pony which was SCARED to death after its cruel owner tied it to a post near a fireworks display.
The black and white Shetland was tethered to a stake in a grubby caravan park just 100ft (30m) from the site of a loud display last Bonfire night.
The terrified foal tried to flee from the deafening explosions but ended up pinned to the ground after wrapping the rope around the wooden post.
When a member of the public finally discovered the animal his tail was caked in faeces and he was so weak he couldn’t even drink water.
A harrowing image, released by the RSPCA was taken just hours before the foal was put down and shows the stricken animal unable to stand with its filthy fur caked in mud.
Officers found the animal’s head collar was attached so tightly it left stress marks on its skull.
The owner was jailed for 16 weeks and banned from keeping animals for life after pleading guilty to cruelty charges.
RSPCA inspector Pippa Boyd who was called to investigate the incident, said: “The pony was had been tethered on scrubland and would have needed extra feed or hay, however his owner had been providing him with an unsuitable diet of bread and carrots.
“A water bucket had been tipped over and was out of the Shetland’s reach.
“The pony’s ribs could be easily felt and his hips were sharp, with a minimal covering of flesh.
“His coat was scruffy and appeared like a coat of a 30-year-old pony.
“The vet concluded the Shetland would have suffered from hunger pains and would have been lethargic due to low energy reserves.”
Last year convictions for animal neglect and cruelty in England and Wales rose by nearly 34 per cent in England and Wales, with the number of defendants convicted rising by 15.7 per cent.