Neglected mare has a ‘long way to go’ to mentally recover after owner ignored advice

  • A neglected mare has a “long way to go” to mentally recover after being found along with a stallion with no food and dirty water.

    Deborah Jane Hunt, 60, of Cosham, Portsmouth was from keeping equines for five years when she appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on 20 May for sentencing, after pleading guilty to three charges under the Animal Welfare Act at an earlier hearing.

    Hunt failed to provide a sufficient diet and meet the needs of a bay mare, Duchess, and skewbald stallion, Paddy. She also failed to provide adequate hoof care to Duchess.

    A spokesman for the RSPCA said despite repeated advice from both the RSPCA, and World Horse Welfare, Hunt kept the horses in unsuitable conditions at stables in Waterlooville without access to suitable and sufficient food, and fresh water.

    RSPCA Inspector Tina Ward said: “This was a case of prolonged neglect where the needs of Paddy and Duchess were simply ignored.

    “The horses were in stables, filled with faeces and no clean bedding to give a dry resting area. There was no food available and the only water they had access to was a small amount of very dirty water at the bottom of a bucket.”

    The inspector said she saw Paddy eating his own faeces and found it “very upsetting”.

    “Bay mare Duchess had severely overgrown hooves that hadn’t been tended by a farrier which were causing her further distress,” said the inspector.

    “Thankfully both horses have gone on to make a fantastic recovery with the right care and a suitable diet.”

    The inspector said Duchess is doing well in health but mentally has a “long way to go”.

    “She has never been with other horses and had grass. She is still learning what it is to be a horse and often stands at the gate looking to come back in,” said the inspector.

    In mitigation the court heard Hunt suffered ill health.

    The five-year year ban prevents Hunt from keeping or caring for equines cannot be appealed for three years. She was deprived ownership of the horses and a Shetland pony has been rehomed to a rescue.

    Hunt received a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and given an eight-week curfew from 6pm to 6am. She was ordered to pay £750 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

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