“It is with great sadness that, under veterinarian advice, the humane decision was made to euthanize Charlie and Arthur,” the SPCA said, with the organisation explaining that “years of neglect and infection had left them both with severe dental issues” and the time had come.

Arthur and Charlie had previously been carriage horses and were found in very poor condition following an anonymous tip from a member of the public, with the horses found in a cramped stall, malnourished and suffering from a number of skin and dental issues

With an aim to let them live out their remaining time in peace and comfort, the SPCA took over their care, with assistance from members of the public who donated towards the effort.

However, within the last two weeks Charlie’s health rapidly declined and he stopped eating solid foods completely and Arthur also had issues, so they determined that “the time had come.”

The Bermuda SPCA spokesperson said, “It is with great sadness that, under veterinarian advice, the humane decision was made to euthanize Charlie and Arthur on Tuesday, 9th January 2018.

“Years of neglect and infection had left them both with severe dental issues. The SPCA was warned when the horses were found and examined that Charlie, in particular, was at great risk of his jaw breaking due to bone loss directly attributed to extensive dental infection. An equine dental specialist visiting Bermuda in October confirmed there was nothing that could be done to prevent the inevitable continued deterioration.”

According to Dr Lucy, Cedar Tree Vets Limited, “After several months involvement with these horses, and collaboration with other professionals, it was clear that Charlie’s quality of life was diminishing due to chronic pain. The difficult decision to put him to sleep was therefore taken.”

“The goal from the start had always been to give these lovely, old horses the best possible retirement for as long as they remained pain free, without unmanageable deterioration, filled with unlimited grass and hay, good food, love and kindness.

The SPCA said, “Arthur and Charlie became part of a very loving and dedicated family. In addition to their foster family and friends, all donors, volunteers and staff were invited to come and spend time with them.

“Sadly this day came faster than anticipated. Within the last two weeks Charlie’s health had rapidly declined. Weight gained previously, while in foster care, quickly dropped off and he was having obvious difficulty with eating.

“On Sunday January 7th, Charlie stopped eating solid foods completely. Dr. Lucy was called and she confirmed that the time had come.

“In addition, as Arthur was so incredibly attached and also had his own issues, it was determined that it would be cruel to separate the pair and keep Arthur after the loss of his lifetime companion.

“Therefore the difficult decision was made to euthanize them both. A post mortem examination revealed that in fact Arthur’s teeth had also deteriorated and it was determined that he must have been in discomfort as well.

“Their last few days were filled with visits from friends and donors and as much applesauce, bran mash, molasses and other soft foods and treats as they could consume.

“Their last day was sunny and relaxed and, as a final gift from their foster family, there was no trailer ride to the dump for them [the fate of most horses on the island]. They were calmly put to sleep, surrounded by people who loved them, and buried on the property where they had spent their last, happy months, cared for devotedly by their foster family.

“The SPCA is eternally grateful for the donations that were sent in for Arthur and Charlie, which assisted considerably in the feeding of the horses. Notably the foster family covered the majority of additional costs. ”

By Bernews