Police are hunting for a depraved attacker after a horse had to be put down after being stabbed twice and “sexually violated”.
The 18-year-old mare, called Blaze, was was attacked between the hours of 9pm and 6am on Sunday in New Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, on Sunday.
In a Facebook post, Blaze’s owner, Zoe Wright, said that the horse was put down after the horrifying incident.
Wright said that a £1,000 reward was being offered to anyone who could provide information leading to an arrest.
She said: “My lovely Blaze was the nicest pony, she has been part of our family for 18 years, the complete low life scum who did this to her needs to face justice for what they have done.”
Wright also warned other animal owners to be vigilant, saying: “Anyone in the area (New Pitsligo) please check you horses, if they have any suspicious cuts or you see anyone acting oddly please contact the police.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: "We have had a report of an injured horse in the New Pitsligo area and inquiries are ongoing into the incident.”
Detective Inspector Norman Stevenson said: "Enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened to the horse but I would appeal directly to any neighbours or residents in the area who may have seen anything unusual or suspicious in the days before this happened.
"As a result of this cruel act a horse has died and a family have now lost a much-loved animal.
"We have not received any reports of similar incidents in the area but I would urge horse owners to check their animals regularly and report anything unusual to police.
"Patrols are carried out frequently in rural areas but we do rely on residents, land owners and people who work in the area to contact us to report anything unusual or suspicious.
"Anyone with concerns about rural crime can contact Police Scotland on 101 or if it is an emergency through 999. Or alternatively contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be given in confidence."