A malnourished horse abandoned near a busy road has had to be put down.

The black mare was found tethered to a gate by St Albans Road in Barnet.

It is believed she was dumped there on Thursday, June 12 and left overnight before the RSPCA was called to rescue the elderly horse.

A vet discovered the mare had serious breathing problems and had a cardiac failure as well as weepy eyes and hair loss on her legs.

The vet said she was in such a "poorly condition" that she had to be put to sleep to end her suffering.

RSPCA inspector Natalie Bartle said: "Not only did the neglectful owners fail to provide the necessary veterinary treatment to an elderly horse, but they just callously dumped her by the side of a main road.

"This poor animal was extremely emaciated and unwell and yet was just left to suffer in a very stressful place. It was heartless.

"We urge anyone with any information to come forward and let us know who may be behind this on 0300 123 8018."