A woman has been banned from keeping animals for five years after a pony and donkey in her care were found with hooves so overgrown they could barely walk.

The pony had an infected sarcoid on his chest that had become ulcerated and bleeding.

Rachel Hindley, of Beecheno Road, Norwich, was also handed an eight-week prison sentence — suspended for two years — when she appeared at Norwich magistrates court yesterday (Wednesday 18 March).

The equines were found in a field in Marl Pit Lane in June 2014. The police, RSPCA and Redwings Horse Sanctuary visited the site after concerns had been raised by members of the public. A vet and farrier were also in attendance.

They found a skewbald donkey and a dark grey pony — now named Rio (pictured above) and Zeus (pictured below) — both with extremely overgrown hooves. Zeus also had an infected sarcoid on his chest.

Both animals were taken by the police and put into Redwings’ care. They have since had extensive farriery and veterinary treatment.

“We could see immediately that these poor equines were not receiving the care they needed and had to have urgent veterinary attention,” said RSPCA inspector Ben Kirby.

“They could barely stand — let alone walk — and were clearly suffering. The infected sarcoid on the horse’s chest was horrific, really ulcerated and sore.

“I’m so pleased to hear that they are now making a good recovery in Redwings’ care. Who knows where it would have ended had we not all been called. They could not have carried on as they were.”

Zeus Before

Redwings’ senior field officer Julie Harding added: “This case is a prime example of how lack of basic care can lead to an animal suffering. Zeus had a nasty sarcoid on his chest, which was covered in flies, and Rio was in such pain from overgrown feet that he couldn’t stand, requiring sedation to ease his pain.”

Both animals are now on the way to recovery.

“Rio’s hooves are now back to normal and he can happily walk pain free,” said Redwings’ vet Nicola Berryman.

“Zeus has had his sarcoid treated and removed. Both are happy and healthy in their new environment and have become firm favourites of the veterinary and care team.”

Ms Hindley had been found guilty of offences under the Animal Welfare Act in her absence on 27 January. She was also ordered to pay a £200 fine and £80 costs.