Until a few months ago, the eight-year-old male horse was priced possession. It was competing with some of the finest race horses in a race course. But thereafter it stood abandoned, leg swollen, injury marks on the chest and abrasions all over the body. This was at the Finger Post area.

The equine was found standing there for days together, unable to even have food from the municipal waste, said Nigel Otter, Managing Trustee, Indian Project for Animals and Nature. “Residents of the area and students of the nearby school kept calling me, asking the IPAN to help the abandoned animal,” he said.

Mr. Otter sought the help of Gita Jayaram, an animal welfare activist, who then went to Finger Post to see the animal. “It was skeletal, its right hind leg was swollen right from the hip to the sole and it looked inflamed and septic. It had suffered a deep cut in the chest,” she said and added that passersby had noticed blood tripping when the horse tried to walk.

Dr. Jayaram and Mr. Otter sought the help of the police, lodged a case against the owner who had abandoned the animal under sections of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and decided to take the animal to the IPAN rescue centre.

Around Saturday evening, the animal was taken to the Municipal Complex in Finger Post, fed carrots and tied to a pole until the vehicle that could take it to the IPAN centre arrived. Around 7.30 p.m., the animal was taken to the IPAN centre, where it was doing well.

Mr. Otter said that the animal was responding well to the treatment.

He added that there were many such horses. Once the horses retired from race courses, the owners sold them to people from the Nilgiris and Kodaikanal, who used them to carry tourists. But the new horse owners would not be able to feed them they way the animals were fed in race farms. The animals’ health starts deteriorating since then. And within four months, the animal finds itself on the street.

This was a yearly phenomenon as every year horses were retired from race courses, Mr. Otter said and called for a policy and programme to deal with the animals.


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