Police are searching for the killers of a Shetland pony that was discovered tied up and beaten on Saturday morning.
The horse was found dead on waste land near Yeovil in Somerset, having been struck on the head with a blunt weapon.
Its rear legs were tied together with a rope.
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: ”We are appealing for anyone who was in the area between midnight and mid-morning on Saturday who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously.
“A passing car driver, early morning dog walker, someone driving into work or finishing a late night shift may have information to help our inquiries.
“We would also be interested in hearing from members of the public who saw anyone in the area acting suspiciously over the few days or nights before the incident took place.”
The police have informed the RSPCA and said inquiries are continuing.