A Scottish woman has been banned from keeping equines for two years after neglecting three horses.
Susan Gale, 56, of Tillyfour Court, Alford, was sentenced at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Tuesday (29 July).
At an earlier court appearance, Ms Gale pleaded guilty to failing to provide adequate nutrition and veterinary attention for her three horses.
The horses, which were found by the Scottish SPCA in April 2013, were all severely underweight. Two of them were later put down, while the third is now in a new home.
“When I arrived at Ms Gale’s premises, the first horse I saw was a five-year-old coloured stallion named Oddie (pictured top) and I was immediately concerned for his welfare,” said senior Scottish SPCA Inspector Alison Simpson.
“He was extremely thin, with all bones visible, and he had a body score of just 0.5 out of 5.”
The second horse, a mare named May who was thought to be around 10-12 years old, was also very underweight with a body score of 0.5.
“She had little co-ordination of her back legs due to a severe form of ataxia, which is a neurological disorder affecting balance, and she was suffering from a lice infestation,” added Inspector Simpson.
A third horse, an eight-year-old bay mare called April had a body score of one out of five.
“There were no medical issues identified to explain the poor body conditions of the horses, therefore it was clear this was due to a chronic lack of feed over a period of a few months,” said Inspector Simpson.
“Both April and May were suffering from serious heart murmurs and, after six months in our care, April had a severe heart attack. She would not have been able to recover and the vet put her to sleep.
“May’s heart murmur was affecting her quality of life and she was regularly losing balance and falling over.”
May was also put to sleep. After rehabilitation Oddie made a “tremendous recovery” (pictured right) and has found a new home.
Ms Gale was given a two-year ban on keeping horses and a 90-hour community payback order, to be completed within nine months.