POLICE are appealing for information following an incident at an animal sanctuary in Widnes.

Yobs were seen trying to drag a horse across a field with a rope placed tightly around its neck.

A member of the public saw what was happening and immediately went over to the Shetland Rescue Horse and Pony Sanctuary in Ramsbrook Lane, Hale village.

The teenage gang of girls and boys fled as soon as the person approached them.

The passer by managed to remove the rope from the horse’s neck and return it to the sanctuary.

PC Stuart Twiss, of Widnes Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said: "Fortunately, there are no visible injuries or marks to the horse but clearly this caused the animal a great deal of distress.

“The sanctuary is a voluntary organisation and takes care of rescue horses that are no longer wanted or have been neglected. “The behaviour of those involved is despicable and I would like to reassure people that we are doing all we can to try and trace whoever is responsible.

“The local neighbourhood policing team is carrying out a number of enquiries in the local area and anyone with any information, which could help with those enquiries, is urged to come forward."

The incident happened at 9pm on Wednesday, July 9.

The youths broke into the field by cutting through fencing.

There are believed to have been up to five youths in the group, girls and boys aged between 14 and 15-years-old.

Anyone with any information is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 941 of 9 July. Information can also be left anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.