Police have launched a public appeal after a horse was deliberately injured near Ellon.
The incident is thought to have happened some time between 4.30pm on November 30 and 11am on December 1, in the Shivas area of Ythanbank.
Veterinary experts understand that the white Connermara/Highland cross pony was deliberately harmed.
PC Alan Mitchell, who is leading the inquiries, 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.
“Anyone with information should contact police on 101 quoting reference number CF0298951218.”