‘No remorse’ from owner who left horse to suffer with broken hip

  • An owner who admitted leaving her horse to suffer with a broken hip showed no remorse and only pleaded guilty for convenience, a magistrate said.

    RSPCA WA said the owner, of Mount Helena, Western Australia, neglected her horse so badly he had to be put down.

    The charity went to the 69-year-old’s property in Northam on 15 February to investigate a report of an elderly horse in poor condition.

    “The inspector found Star in a sandy paddock at the back of the property,” a spokesman for the charity said. “He was in poor condition, limping and clearly in pain.

    “The inspector issued a written direction notice for the offender to seek urgent vet care for Star. When she failed to comply, RSPCA WA seized the horse and took him to a vet hospital.”

    The spokesman said the standardbred had a broken hip “and the offender admitted he had been injured ‘for years’.”

    The owner lives in Mount Helena but went to the premises in Northam twice a week, the charity said, adding: “She admitted her husband wanted to have Star euthanised, but she’d refused as he was ‘all right’.

    “A veterinary exam revealed Star had a fractured hip, and significant muscle wastage around his pelvis and spine. The vet determined Star was in unmanageable pain and the kindest option was to end his suffering.”

    RSPCA WA inspector manager Kylie Green said it was clear Star was in pain.

    “It took a matter of minutes for our inspector to identify that Star was suffering,” she said.

    “The offender was aware of her horse’s injury. She chose to ignore it for months on end by her own admission, which is hard to comprehend. When you limit a horse’s ability to stand, walk and move, you completely diminish their quality of life.

    “If you can’t give your animal the level of care they deserve, you must reach out for help sooner rather than later. I’m glad we were able to get some justice for Star today.”

    The offender was sentenced under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(h) of Western Australia’s Animal Welfare Act 2002. The court found Star had suffered harm which could have been alleviated by taking reasonable steps.

    Sentencing, magistrate Sarah Oliver said this was a “serious example of this offence”, that the offender did not show remorse and that her guilty plea was a “plea of convenience”.

    The owner was fined $4,000 (£2,091) and banned from owning horses for two years. She was also ordered to pay $3,687 in costs.

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