‘Skin and bones’ mare with untreated foot abscesses is rescued by RSPCA

A woman from Welcombe, near Bideford, Devon has been sentenced to a 12-month community order and had her thoroughbred mare seized. 

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It was RSPCA Deputy Chief Inspector Suzy Hannaby who visited the field in Welcombe, in response to reports about a thin horse. 

DCI Hannaby said: “I found poor Polly in an emaciated condition, just skin and bones, with untreated abscesses in both of her hind hooves.

“To allow this young horse to get into such a shocking state was inexcusable. As well as being extremely thin and undernourished, she had abscesses in both her hind hooves, making walking very painful.

“She was being kept in a field with little grazing available and with no extra food provided.  

“When the vet examined Polly, she advised that the mare was suffering and needed immediate attention, so we were given authorisation to remove her from the field and take her into the RSPCA’s care.

“Thoroughbreds are not easy horses to keep, especially during the winter, yet are unfortunately too easy to pick up for little to no money.  We often find them in the hands of those who are completely inexperienced or unequipped to deal with their needs”.

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The lady was sentenced at North Devon Magistrates Court in Barnstable on Friday (3 August). 

The court has ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and to pay £750 in costs plus £85 victim surcharge and given a Deprivation Order relating to Polly the mare.

Last year (2017), nearly 1,000 horses - a four-year high - were rescued from cruelty, suffering and neglect by the RSPCA. RSPCA officers are called out to neglected and abandoned horses every day in England and Wales, with many of the animals extremely sick or dying.

To report any animal in need of help, you can call the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 or to support rehoming, rescue and rehabilitation visit www.rspca.org.uk/suffering

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