The founder of a sanctuary, whose horses are suffering an outbreak of a nasty virus, is distraught after thieves broke into the yard and left a number of gates open.

Cecil's Horse Sanctuary in Elstree was targeted during the night of May 5 and a generator was stolen.

More worryingly, a number of gates were left open which led to a horses which were suffering from strangles getting mixed up.

Borehamwood Times:

The sanctuary were going through a disinfectant protocol but founder Julie Blake says the burglary has set them back months of work.

She said: "It's absolutely awful. We had to split the horses into three zones. Those who were well, those who had recovered, and those who were ill from the virus. But because these people left the gates open, the horses were able to wonder.

The horses, a mixture of Welsh ponies and miniature Shetland's, regularly tour around the country at shows but the sanctuary is on lockdown while workers battle Strangles, one of the most common and highly contagious equine diseases in the UK.

The loss of the generator means that the sanctuary is unable to operate properly as it was relied on for electricity while headcollars and lead ropes were also stolen.

Borehamwood Times:

Ms Blake is warning people not to buy those items if offered as it it very likely that it is contaminated.

The sanctuary have also had to deal with numerous thefts of hay. The sanctuary is appealing for donations so that the it can continue to provide hay for the neglected horses that it rescues.

In April, hay and paving stones were stolen.

Borehamwood Times:

Ms Blake added: "We really do seem to be suffering from a run of bad luck at the moment. A big bale of hay has been stolen from our fields as well as a substantial number of paving stones, that were donated to us. If anyone can help, please do."

The sanctuary in Elstree has more than 30 horses.

Anyone with any information on the theft last week should contact Hertfordshire Constabulary on 101 quoting crime reference J1/18/2017.

To help support the horse sanctuary, click here 

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