A woman from Stoke-on-Trent has been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to two horses and a dog.
The RSPCA took Claire Machin to court following two separate complaints regarding the animals in her care.
She was found guilty of three animal welfare offences - including failure to investigate the cause of the horses' weight loss - and sentenced to 24 weeks in prison. She has also been banned for life from keeping any animals.
The horses in Ms Machin’s care were discovered after the RSPCA were called to their field. Both were incredibly underweight and so weak that they couldn’t pick up their back legs to walk.
Investigating the case, RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “Two colts in the field were extremely skinny and the vet who saw them gave them a body condition score of just 0.5 out of five.
“We weren’t sure if they were going to make it and, for the first week in our care, one of the little ponies had to be scooped up off the floor several times a day as he didn’t have the strength to stand himself.”
A month prior to the discovery of the colts, Inspector Melvin was called to Ms Machin’s house as part of an investigation by Animal Health.
It was here that they found Ms Machin’s dog, Coco. Coco was very underweight and had a body condition score of one out of five.
Further investigation from the vet also found a huge bladder stone. It was so big that it took up the entirety of the dog’s bladder.
Machin denied three offences of causing unnecessary suffering - one allegation in relation to Coco and one each in relation to both of the ponies - but was convicted on all counts and sentenced under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.
Thankfully, all animals have now made full recoveries and are now looking to be rehomed.