Police are investigating an attack on a pony that left it with an 18-inch cut across its body.
The 12-year-old Connemara and Highland-cross pony needed 28 stitches following the incident in the Shivas area of Ythanbank in Aberdeenshire.
It happened some time between 4.40pm on Friday November 30 and 11am on Saturday December 1.
Officers said there have been no other incidents in the area and are appealing for any information.
Police Constable Alan Mitchell said: “Inquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened to the horse but I would appeal directly to any neighbours or residents in the area who may have seen anything unusual or suspicious around the time this happened to contact us.
“The horse suffered an 18-inch cut across its left hand side, which required urgent medical attention and 28 stitches.
“I would urge anyone with information in relation to this cruel act to come forward and let us know.
“This incident has caused significant stress to the owners of the horse, which is now recovering.
“We have not received any reports of similar incidents in the area but I would urge horse owners to check their animals regularly and report anything unusual to police.”