33 abandoned horses in Dorset during lockdown

33 abandoned horses in Dorset during lockdown

Published by George Sharpe at 12:01am 14th June 2020.

The RSPCA have been called to 33 reports about horses in Dorset since the start of the lockdown.

Over 286 horse incidents, including dumped and dying horses, were recorded in Dorset last year.

The RSPCA is warning a financial recession could lead to more sick horses being left to die across the South West.

Equine welfare charities are currently in crisis due to continued over breeding and falling demand for some breeds of horse.

Baby horse

Christine McNeil is the charity's National Equine Inspectors Co-Ordinator, she said: 

"This is a truly worrying time for equine charities - we still haven't got a handle on the repercussions of the current horse crisis, and it now looks like the worst is yet to come.

"In April 2011, before the effects of the financial recession had hit, the RSPCA had 290 horses in its care, already more than our official stables could house. The following year, the impact of the crisis really began to hit and our officers were called out every day up and down the country to neglected and abandoned horses. 

"By May 2012, the number of horses in our care had leapt to 600. Fast-forward to today, and we're caring for 927 horses - that's three times the amount since the crisis hit, and we strongly fear that the impact will be even worse this time round."


In 2008 the financial crash put horse charities under a lot of pressure, and they are now worried another financial recession may put the welfare of the estimated 7,000 horses in the UK at risk.

Rehoming horses is currently extremely difficult too, under lockdown restrictions.

The RSPCA has managed to rehome 21 horses during the lockdown, compared with 56 in January and February.

Christine added:

"The public's help is absolutely vital to keep the RSPCA afloat during this extremely difficult time. 

We can't stress how much we need loving homes for our horses and ponies, and we are urging those with experience of horses to please consider rehoming one of our wonderful rescue horses. 

Last year (2019), we rehomed 242 horses and ponies to loving new homes, with many going on to become superb children's riding ponies, happy hacking horses, fantastic project youngsters, and wonderful retired companions."

You can find out how to donate to the RSPCA on their website.