A man from Salisbury has been sentenced to 15 weeks in prison, fined £260 and banned from owning animals for 10 years after a pony in his care was found starving.

The animal was discovered in a run-down shack adjacent to his parents’ back garden.

William Jacques, 21, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a young mare named Porche, who was found collapsed in a makeshift stable in March last year by a group of workmen.

© RSPCA/Solent News & Photo Agency

© RSPCA/Solent News & Photo Agency

The RSPCA was called and found the pony with no access to food and only a small amount of faeces-laden water to drink.

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RSPCA inspector Will Hendry said: “Porche was left emaciated and wasting away in a shabby holding by her owner, who did not provide her with the proper care expected of someone looking after an animal of any kind.”

A vet was called, but due to the prolonged starvation and dehydration – among other medical issues – Porche had suffered, the pony’s health had deteriorated so badly that she was put down.

Inspector Hendry added: “Porche suffered in a bad way due to a set of unfortunate circumstances, all of which could have simply been avoided if only she had received the right treatment, both from a vet and from a responsible owner who would provide her with the food and clean water that she so desperately needed.

“This case highlights the importance of taking the time to understand the needs of an animal before people take one on, particularly something like a horse which requires a lot of work and specialist care, and can be very expensive to keep. Once you have taken on an animal, you are responsible for it by law, so people need to think carefully before committing to ownership.”