A Bellshill teenager’s birthday celebrations were left ruined by the grim discovery of a severed horse’s head in a burn.
Erin Gallagher had invited her friends Kyana Gardner and Kaci Cunningham for the sleepover last Saturday (March 27) as she turned 14.
At around 6.30pm the three Bellshill Academy pupils were out walking Erin’s dog when they were horrified to find an animal’s remains near the junction of Carnbroe Road and Rosebank Road.
Erin said: “At first I thought it was a horse mask and called over to the other two, it was then that we realised it was real.
“I could see blood, its teeth and an eye, and we all started crying because it was really scary – it was supposed to be a sleepover, but we were all too traumatised to sleep.”
The girls now wonder what happened to the rest of the horse having found no trace of any other remains.
Kyana said: “It is really strange. We looked all over, but we couldn’t find anything else. It was just the head.
“There are some cows in the fields nearby, but no horses so where did it come from and how did it get there?”
Erin’s mum called the Scottish SPCA to raise the alarm, but by 6pm the next day Kyana’s mum Andrea found the horse’s head was still there.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it hadn’t been removed so I contacted the police and finally the SSPCA responded on Monday.
“Given the fright it gave the girls I’m not sure why they just left it for two days.”
Even now the girls are struggling to understand with what they witnessed.
Kaci said: “I just keep thinking ‘who would do that to an animal?’ The image will stay with us all for a long time.”
The SSPCA has appealed for information.
Scottish SPCA Inspector Jack Marshall said: “We can’t be sure of the circumstances surrounding this horse’s death, but if someone has done this as a deliberate act of cruelty then this is sickening.
“We’re urging anyone with information to contact our animal helpline in confidence.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.