09 Aug 2022

Rise in number of calls about horses in distress

The ISPCA recorded an increase in the number of calls about horses in distress last year, and nine per cent of these were from the Kilkenny region.

The ISPCA recorded an increase in the number of calls about horses in distress last year, and nine per cent of these were from the Kilkenny region.

The charity received and responded to more than 1,500 calls related to neglected or abused horses, ponies and foals in 2012. Some nine per cent of those calls came from the Kilkenny region, amounting to over 135.

Almost 100 of these animals had to be taken into ISPCA care – a 10% increase from the previous year. The ISPCA expects even more calls this year relating to equine care – approximately 1,700.

The organisation has now launched its ‘Hay Drive’, which calls for support from the public to help the ISPCA feed, care for and rehome the horses, ponies and foals in their care.

Many horses, ponies and foals which were able to graze during the summer will be left abandoned and neglected rather than costing the owner money in feed – such as those highlighted by the Kilkenny People in recent weeks.

The ISPCA becomes a vital source of care for these animals during the expected colder, harsher months ahead.

People are now being asked to donate online or to text HAY to 57802 to donate €3 to help fill the ISPCA hay barn. €3 will buy a bale of hay and feed a neglected horse for a day.

“Naturally, rehoming dogs, cats and smaller more domestic animals has a higher success rate while horses, ponies and foals require a certain type of owner,” said Noel Griffin, CEO of ISPCA.

“One who has the land, capability to stable in winter and feed during the colder, frosted months. Part of this is because of difficult winters, but too many are because of horrific abuse, starvation and neglect.

“Naturally, we (ISPCA) are saddened at the number of these beautiful animals that have to be seized and rescued, but we have no option. We continue to call for proper measures of equine ownership through the national identity tagging campaign, in order to reduce the number of animals requiring our attention and resource drain. Every text or online donation made will go directly to into our equine care programme.”

The ISPCA is a non-profit organisation completely reliant on public donations which is pushed to the limits in trying to cope with the number of abused, neglected and abandoned animals. Campaigns like the Hay Drive help raise essential monies to help deal with the daily realities of animal welfare.

The harsh reality is from January to March, the ISPCA have a deluge of horses, ponies and foals who have been left in the cold, on grassless waste land, ignored and dumped.

To support the ISPCA Hay Drive by donating €3 for a bale of hay, text the word ‘Hay’ to 57802 or donate online at

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