Dumped rubbish puts Roxy’s life in danger

A MUCH-loved horse which grazes in Fishponds nearly died after eating plastic in sacks of rubbish thrown into her field.

Roxy has had to undergo extensive veterinary treatment and at one point was not expected to survive.

Her owners Elfrie and Ricky Gonzalez are still waiting to see if she has suffered any permanent harm, and are bracing themselves for a huge vet’s bill after Roxy chewed through plastic bin and food bags to reach peelings and other food waste dumped by fly-tippers.

Six bin bags at a time have been dumped, on three occasions, in the field next to College Road and College Court.

Each incident has happened overnight from Sunday to Monday – twice in April and once in May.

‘She was basically full of plastic’

Elfrie and Ricky were on holiday when Roxy was taken ill and their friend Lucia Haluskova (pictured above with Roxy) called in a vet and slept in Roxy’s shed as the horse fought for life.

Lucia said: “The first two or three days the vet wasn’t sure if she was going to survive – they’d never seen anything like it before.”

Elfrie said: “Every day we had the emergency vet out trying to save her life, putting paraffin down her throat and pulling bags of plastic out of her.

“She was basically full of plastic.”

Roxy has been on steroids, antibiotics and painkillers as the plastic passes through her body, and while she seems to be recovering she is not her usual self yet.

Elfrie said: “You can’t imagine anybody would want to harm her but it’s pig ignorant to chuck that sort of rubbish – an awful lot of plastic that’s recyclable. They probably don’t realise how ill she’s been because of it.”

Elfrie, Ricky and Lucia believe the rubbish was all dumped by the same family living nearby.

Clues to culprit’s identity

The food packaging is all from three shops with branches in Fishponds Road – Lidl, Alfu and a Polish shop, and includes a lot of Eastern European specialities.

One bag contained a child’s colouring book with the names Alina, Gratiela, Tita, Jerica, Jovani and Laurentiu written in it, one contained hair dye and a long black hair, and there were also nappies and socks that would fit an infant school-aged child.

The city council and police are aware and images have been shared on social media but so far no-one has been identified.

Roxy is 13 years old and has lived in the paddock since she was five – it is known by many locals as Roxy’s Field.

Elfrie said: “She’s a bit of an attraction – schoolchildren all know her and like to see her and say hello, but we’ve had to keep her away from the wall, and she misses them as well.

“We’ve have kept horses here for 28 years and never had this before.”