Phoenix the pony was taken from its stables in Wigan on Sunday between 4pm and 7pm and found 'tied to a tree' where it apparently strangled itself trying to break free and online reaction has not surprisingly been of anger, horror and grief.
Hundreds of facebook users left comments and tributes, here are just some of them ...
Lea Lea My boy did not deserve this, I’m devastated. Anyone who can help please do. We need to get JUSTICE FOR PHOENIX X
Jayne Packingham Don’t know what they get out of hurting and killing a beautiful animal for nothing, hope they get caught, absolutely disgusting, poor little horse.
John Mac They put a rope round its neck and tied it to a tree.
Helena Parry What cruel people there are, a poor defenceless pony.
Shirley Tarpey Riley As with any crime someone knows who did it and that makes them just as bad. So speak out and put them where they should be, behind bars.
Amanda Parkinson Lit a candle for poor Phoenix tonight x run free over rainbow bridge little one x
Karen Kendrick Just dreadful, sickening & shameful. Who could do such a thing to as beautiful & harmless an animal as this? Gutted for the owners who'll be heartbroken. My thoughts are with them.
Kimberly Mcsperritt Well they need to throw away the key. If that was my daughter's pony I know and feel the heartache that poor family must be feeling. Why?? Makes my blood boil.
Joanne Brown Please find these horrible people, what on earth is this place coming to.. that poor pony ... I’m so sad that this happened... rip.
Joanne Higham Heartbreaking for this pony and the family hopefully will get what’s coming to them.
Katie Wilde This is absolutely heartbreaking. Pure evil. What do they get out of this? So sad xx
Emma'Louise Jones Fly high Phoenix! Look down on your little rider and keep her safe. Genuinely can’t comprehend how someone could do this!
Angela Ball Absolutely heartbreaking how can people be so cruel thinking of the owners of this beautiful horse they must be devastated.
Susan Wilson Cant stop thinking of this and what will they get a slapped hand ... nothing but monsters, that poor pony scared out his mind, I'm gutted for the owners.
Margaret Coulson How can any human being do such cruel things. Sad sad sad.
June Tyrer RIP Phoenix. So sorry this happened to you. You did not deserve this.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting incident number 350 of 11/02/2019.