A PONY which had suspected acid thrown in its face is undergoing intensive treatment at a Yorkshire horse hospital.
The filly foal, which is only believed to be six to eight months old, was found dumped in Clowne, Derbyshire, and is being treated by vets at Rainbow Equine Hospital in Malton, North Yorkshire.
The pony, which has been named Cinders by the team, has extensive burns and tissue damage from its eyes to its nose.
Burns experts at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield have been giving the veterinary team advice on how to treat the wounds.
Vet David Rendle said: "It's pretty hard to stomach that we are trying to undo a deliberate act by another human being, if we can call them that."
He said as well as the attack to Cinders' face, the foal was also malnourished and badly anaemic.
Despite its injuries, he said it was in "amazing" spirits.
He said: "She's a plucky little thing. She's probably receiving more human attention than she has ever received. She is very keen to eat, remarkably, despite her injuries."
Mr Rendle said Cinders had been given blood transfusions and its face wounds had been dressed.
He said: "I'm sure she will pull through. The worry is the extent of damage to her eyelids. If she loses her eyelids, she's going to have chronic discomfort to her eyes and that is probably not fair to her.
"We are optimistic they won't be lost."
The RSPCA has issued an appeal for information.
RSPCA inspector Keith Ellis said the injuries sustained by Cinders were "absolutely appalling, and the worst I've ever seen".
"Whatever the substance was has caused her skin to literally slew off of her face and head.
"I've never seen an animal who has been attacked with a caustic substance like this," he said.
"It’s believed that she had suffered these horrific injuries up to 48 hours before she was found. We don’t know how the injuries were caused but it seems inconceivable that this happened accidentally. We do believe this was a deliberate attack.
"If anyone has any information about what happened please contact the RSPCA's appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and ask to leave a message for me."
A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to help pay for Cinders' treatment at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rainbow-equine-hospital.