Three people have been sentenced after admitting a number of offences under the Animal Welfare Act relating to a number of horses and a dog being kept at a Burnley allotment.
Jade English, Rebecca Wilkin and Carl Jason Watson appeared before Burnley Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on 17 January and pleaded guilty.
The RSPCA attended the allotment near Burnley on 12 December, 2017 following reports of a collapsed horse.
‘It was shocking’
RSPCA inspector Lynsey Taylor said: “What we found when we got there was shocking.
“The collapsed horse we’d been called about, Domino, was laid at the entrance to the allotment, a few feet away from his stable which had been bolted shut top and bottom but Domino had kicked the lower stable door open in his distress.
“Very sadly there was nothing vets could do for him but end his suffering and he was put to sleep at the scene.”
Second chance for Koda
“A second horse, a colt called Koda, was also down but we managed to get him back on his feet and he was taken to the Horses and Ponies Protection Association (HAPPA).
“There were a number of horses at the allotments living in awful conditions – they were underweight, had overgrown feet, lameness, lice and mites to different degrees.
“A dog, called Cyprus, who had recently had puppies was also living in disgusting conditions and, along with the horses, was taken into possession by police on veterinary advice. She was underweight and suffering from mastitis and diarrhoea.”
Cyprus and a horse called Gypsy Boy were signed over to the RSPCA straight away. Koda continues his recovery at HAPPA.
In April the RSPCA attended the allotment again after a police officer raised concerns about a horse he’d seen. The colt, Deano, was in a poor body condition and taken into possession by police on the advice of a vet and placed in RSPCA care.
Jade English was sentenced to a six-month community order with a curfew for eight weeks. She was disqualified from keeping equines for four years and a deprivation order was placed on three horses not previously signed over to the RSPCA. She was ordered to pay £1,200 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
Rebecca Wilkin was sentenced to a 12-month community order. She was disqualified from keeping equines for four years. She was also ordered to pay £1,200 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
Jason Watson was sentenced to a community order of a curfew for nine weeks. He was disqualified from keeping equines for two years and a deprivation order was placed on Deano. He was also ordered to pay £600 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.
‘Not deliberate cruelty’
In mitigation the court heard that it was not deliberate cruelty and that the horses were rescued from elsewhere and the defendants did their best but didn’t have the money to feed or house them properly.
RSPCA inspector Lynsey said: “These animals were failed by these people and they suffered – and in Domino’s case died – as a result.”
The RSPCA’s Homes for Horses campaign aims to find forever homes for its almost 800 horses and ponies this spring by showcasing the versatility and capability of the horses it rescues, whether they are ridden horses, companion animals or youngsters with heaps of potential. Visit the website to find out more.
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