Woman banned from ownership for ‘terrible neglect’

  • A woman has been jailed for 14 weeks and disqualified from keeping animals for life after four of five “terribly neglected” horses in her care had to be put down.

    Concerns were raised after a coloured cob-type horse called Harry collapsed and had to be put to sleep by a vet on 4 July last year.

    World Horse Welfare was contacted and one of its welfare field officers attended the next day.

    The officer then contacted the RSPCA and two horses, Tia (pictured below) and Gem (pictured, top), were seized by police on veterinary advice and were taken to World Horse Welfare for treatment.

    “Sadly, Tia and Gem, both aged over 20, died soon after,” RSPCA inspector Susie Micallef said.

    “Tia collapsed due to being so weak and emaciated and had to be put to sleep and Gem was put to sleep on veterinary advice because of her condition.

    “Tia was actually on loan, and I had to call her owner and break the news that we had her horse and that she was so ill she needed to be euthanised. It was very distressing for everyone involved.”

    A grey mare, Lulu, who was overweight, had long hooves and overgrown teeth, was also on loan and was returned to her owner.

    A black Welsh stallion called Sammy (pictured, above) was making a good recovery in the care of World Horse Welfare but sadly it was discovered he was lame on three legs and suffering ataxia so he had to be put to sleep in November.

    At a hearing on 19 January, 35-year-old Elaine Tregurtha of Pear Tree Road, Croston, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to five offences under the Animal Welfare Act relating to the five horses.

    She appeared before Preston Magistrates’ Court on 10 February for sentencing.

    As well as being given jailed and banned, Tregurtha was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

    In mitigation, the court heard she was having health problems.

    World Horse Welfare field officer John Cunningham, aded: “Clearly this was a very sad case where horses have been terribly neglected and for one reason or another Tregurtha failed to recognise or address the severity and seriousness of the situation.

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    “These were truly invisible horses, hidden away from sight, and the reality is that without the call made to our welfare line they could have remained invisible.

    “Thankfully, working with the RSPCA, we were able to remove the horses from this situation and ensure they received the care they so desperately needed.

    “If anyone is concerned about a horse I would urge them to call our welfare line on 08000 480 180 and report their concerns as soon as they can.”

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