Neglected horse with fractured withers and maggot-infested wound put down *Warning: upsetting image*

A man has been banned from keeping all animals except dogs for 10 years after a horse found with fractured withers and a maggot-infested wound had to be put down.

John Pybus, 56, of Grewgrass Lane, Redcar pleaded guilty to five charges under the Animal Welfare Act when he appeared at Teesside Magistrates Court on 27 February.

World Horse Welfare attended Pybus’ address in July last year after receiving a telephone call from a member of the public. Advice was provided about two thoroughbreds, Dimitri and Cliff, but following a further visit it was found the geldings’ condition had deteriorated and the RSPCA was notified.

The RSPCA attended with World Horse Welfare on 20 August 2018 and following vet advice both horses were seized by police and taken into the care of World Horse Welfare.

RSPCA chief inspector Mark Gent said: “The grey, Dimitri, had a wound to his right shoulder that was maggot-infested. His ribs, hips and spine were all visible but he was active and alert.

“The area he was in had very limited grazing, no hay or supplementary food and the water available to him was green.

“Cliff, a bay, appeared to be very thin with his ribs, hips and spine all visible and he appeared to be lethargic with his head hanging low.”

World Horse Welfare field officer Sarah Tucker said: “Wherever possible we will always try to work with horse owners to resolve problems in situ but unfortunately Pybus ignored the advice and guidance given to him. Dimitri was clearly in need of urgent medical attention for his painful wound and both horses were in very poor condition – even though there was a barn full of hay at the premises.

“Thankfully we were able to remove both Dimitri and Cliff to safety and give them both the dedicated care and veterinary treatment they needed. Dimitri was found to be suffering fractured withers which could not be treated so the difficult decision was made to put him to sleep but thankfully Cliff is flourishing in our care and will be looking for a new home soon.”

On 17 December an RSPCA inspector attended Pybus’ address following concerns raised about a collapsed chestnut gelding, Jango.

Inspector Gent said the gelding was found by an inspector lying down and “gasping for air”.

Warning: upsetting image

“He was very thin and his ribs, hips and spine were all visible,” said inspector Gent.

“He had a bandage on his foreleg, and when the bandage was removed there was a wound which was very smelly, soft to touch and oozing with pus. He also had numerous patches of rain scald that were red in colour. Pybus said the horse had become ill quickly and he was planning to get a vet out to him.



“Jango was seen by a vet at the scene and they advised that he should be put to sleep to prevent him suffering any further.”

A chestnut gelding called Tizer who was found in another stable with his spine and hips “visible” was signed over to the RSPCA along with two other horses, who did not have welfare issues.

In mitigation the court heard that someone else owned the animals but no evidence of this could be found.

Pyybus was given an 18-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and a 12-month community order including 20 rehabilliation days. He was ordered to pay £800 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

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