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Woman banned from keeping equines after horse left in horrific state
A woman has been banned from keeping equines for six years after her neglected horse was left so emaciated that despite great efforts to save him the cob had to be put to sleep.
Jessica Coffey (date of birth 07/01/92), of The Corners, Weaverham, Northwich, pleaded guilty to three charges under the Animal Welfare Act at Wirral Magistrates’ Court yesterday (June 26) after her young cob called Texas was left in such an horrific state the RSPCA inspector who investigated said it was one of the worst cases of equine neglect he had ever seen.
Texas’s weak condition, due to lack of food, meant he also had a prolapsed penis which had become badly infected and he was struggling to stand up in the muddy and inadequate field where he was kept in Brimstage Road, Wirral.
Inspector Anthony Joynes told of his shock when he first saw the two-year-old after he was alerted to the scene by a concerned member of the public on January 2 this year.
“When I attended Texas was wearing a rug, which was hiding his poor body condition, but even with that on I could see immediately he was emaciated.
“His penis was prolapsed and there was obviously a problem there. I could see it was sore and swollen and it got in that terrible state due to his starvation.
“Also the field he was in, along with another cob called Spice, was appalling. It was muddy, there was no grass, there was no natural shelter and nowhere for the horses to lie down and rest.
“Then when I took his rug off I just stood there in shock at how underweight and lethargic he was - it really saddened me. The other horse, called Spice, was a more hardy breed and his weight was much better although the conditions he was kept in were not.”
- Texas was extremely underweight and lethargic when he was found.
With the help of World Horse Welfare, Texas was rushed for treatment at Leahurst Equine Hospital in Liverpool where great efforts were made to try and save him.
He was so weak he collapsed in the horse box while on his way to the centre and staff had to help carry him in. He was given a variety of medication, including a plasma treatment, but by the second day his condition had deteriorated and the vet decided because of his suffering there was no choice but to put him to sleep.
Inspector Joynes added:
“It was appalling failure that no help was sought for Texas when it was quite obvious he was in such suffering state. I know Coffey went to the field on New Year’s Day and if she had alerted us to his state then we might have been able to save him.
“We really did everything to try help him pull through and it is so sad that he did not make it as he was such a lovely boy."
World Horse Welfare Field Officer, Rachel Andrews, assisted Inspector Joynes in rescuing the horses. She said:
“Without a doubt he was one of the most emaciated horses I’ve ever seen. His bones stood out with literally no coverage of fat whatsoever and I have no idea how he was strong enough to stay standing up.
“He looked absolutely pitiful with his head hanging low and was clearly in extreme pain from his swollen sheath, we knew we had to get him out of there as soon as possible.
“He received the very best emergency treatment but sadly it was just too late and the decision was made to put him to sleep, ending his terrible suffering.
“I’m always extremely sad when a horse is put down but with Texas I felt it more than usual, he was such a sweet boy and I just wish we had been alerted to his plight a few days earlier in case we could have saved him.”
- Spice was also living in the squalid conditions
As well as the six-year ban on keeping equines District Judge Sanders also gave Coffey a community order, ordered her to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, and was ordered to pay £1,100 costs. She was also deprived ownership of Spice.
Spice is now at World Horse Welfare's Penny Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre where he is undergoing rehabilitation and will hopefully be found a new home soon.