An 11-week-old Shetland pony has been killed by "cowardly yobs" who abducted and led her to drown in a river.
Heartbroken farmer David Heys, who runs a sheep and cattle farm in Nantwich, Cheshire, said his paddock was broken into in the early hours of 26 June and two-foot Squeak was taken, leaving her mother Bubbles distraught.
Speaking to the Daily Express, the 66-year-old said: "This was a deliberate act to cause distress not only to me but to everyone who knew Squeak and loves Bubbles. Someone has gone out of their way to lead or pull Squeak away from her mother and either push her or frighten her into the river.
"There was no sign of any damage to the paddock fencing which is cow-proof so it would appear to have been planned.
"Everyone is distressed, especially my god-daughter and all the young children locally who love Bubbles and who were delighted when Squeak was born. She was a lovely little thing. The circumstances of her death must have been appalling.
"Bubbles has been running about panicky and whinnying for her. She just cannot understand why her foal is not there because she can still pick up the youngster's scent."
According to the Crewe Chronicle, Squeak was found drowned in the River Weaver on Friday 28 June, two days after she was taken, and police are hunting for someone who lured the foal away from her mother between 1am and 5am on Wednesday, and later pushed her into the river.
Mr Heys told the Chronicle: "She must have been helped in, she wouldn't have gone in by herself.
"I've no idea who would do this."
He added: "I don't know of anyone who's got anything against me, but if someone does have any perceived resentment it's a cowardly way to sort it out."
Locals blasted the "cowardly yobs" for the "mindless" death and the RSPCA said it was a "very sad incident" and urged anyone with information to contact the police.
In June, a man was jailed for drowning a horse at Appleby Fair. Carlisle Magistrates Court heard how bystanders watched in horror as Ian Deer from London forced the horse into deep water, where it struggled and drowned.
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