Council criticised for support delay

One of the foals tied up in Newbiggin.
One of the foals tied up in Newbiggin.

A horse owner who saved three foals who had been abandoned on a county road has criticised council officials for failing to help the animals.

Claire Harland, from Newbiggin, rescued the foals from a road in the village and contacted Northumberland County Council, the police and the RSPCA.

“We found them on the road and we managed to catch them to get them off the road,” she said.

“I phoned the council and the police and the RSPCA, but it was only the police who came to see us.

“The RSPCA said there wasn’t anything it could do unless they got knocked over.

“The council did nothing at all to help and then I see the News Post Leader article saying they were badly treated and had no food or water.

“They had water and I was going down to feed them three or four times a day, so I don’t see how they weren’t looked after.

“The council are trying to make out that they are the heroes when they didn’t come and help me.

“We took the foals in and looked after them, we’re not the ones who mistreated these animals. I love horses and I wanted to help them.”

A Northumberland County Council spokesman said: “We received a complaint from a member of the public and, after conducting welfare checks and ownership enquiries, recovered the foals, with the assistance of a recognised equine rescue organisation.

“The immediate welfare concern was that one foal had become tangled in a short rope and was in danger of breaking a leg.

“Enquiries are ongoing to identify the person or persons responsible for the initial abandonment of the foals.”