The heartbroken owner of a horse who died following a seemingly innocent act has pleaded with the public to reconsider their conduct around animals they don't know.
Faye Simpson's horse, Thor, was fed something without her knowledge or permission by a well-meaning stranger in Portsmouth, on England’s south coast, and died as a result.
While Ms Simpson has not disclosed what the food item was, she has urged people to refrain from feeding an animal something without first getting approval from its owner.
In some cases, kind gestures like feeding a horse a carrot, can have fatal consequences, she wrote in a post to Facebook along with a photo taken during her final moments with Thor.
"As some people don't seem to understand this, hopefully this will make you realise. This is my last moment with my best friend," her post read.
"All because someone thought it was OK to feed him something over the fence."
Ms Simpson described the excruciatingly tough decision to "let him go" after he ingested the item.
"He was in pain and I had to make the horrific decision to let him go," she wrote.
"This is the side you don't see. The moment my heart broke."
Addressing the person responsible for feeding him something they shouldn't have, she said, "I should have had more years with him and you took that away from me".
"I don't care if it's even a carrot. If you don't have permission to feed a horse then leave them alone," she added.
"It's taken me a long time to post this but if it saves someone else going through what we did, then I hope it works."
She pleaded others to "please think" before feeding other people's animals.
"Please stop what happened to my boy. I just hope something good can come out of me losing him."
Several horse owners have experienced similar losses recently in the United Kingdom, with a petition being established to gain government attention and ultimately outlaw strangers feeding animals.
A survey conducted in February, with almost 3000 people in the UK, found 79 per cent of participants had experienced members of the public interfering with horses on their property.
Feeding a horse could result in death
Out of the 44 per cent of those surveyed who said their animals had suffered as a result of the interference, there were 90 cases where the consequence was so severe it resulted in euthanasia or fatality.
It can be unsafe to feed a horse something outside of their regular diet due to them being sensitive to high-sugar foods, having diabetes, or being at risk of choking if they are old and have few teeth.
Lawn mowing cuttings are also highly dangerous due to the high sugar content and can cause horses stomach pain and in the worst case, death.
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