A woman from Leyland, Lancashire has been jailed for 14 weeks and disqualified from keeping animals for life after causing unnecessary suffering to horses.
Elaine Tregurtha (D.O.B 25.03.81) of Pear Tree Road, Croston appeared before Preston Magistrates' Court on Friday (10 February) for sentencing.
At a hearing on 19 January she pleaded guilty to five offences under the Animal Welfare Act relating to five horses in her care.
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.
RSPCA inspector Susie Micallef said:
“World Horse Welfare was contacted and one of their welfare field officers attended the next day. He was so concerned by what he found that he called us.
“Two horses were seized by police on veterinary advice and two were signed over and taken to World Horse Welfare for treatment.
“Sadly,‘Tia’ and ‘Gem’, both 20 plus, died soon after. 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 to Tregurtha, 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 called ‘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’ was making a good recovery in the care of World Horse Welfare but sadly it was discovered he was lame and suffering ataxia so he had to be put sleep in November.
In mitigation, the court heard that Tregurtha was having health problems.
World Horse Welfare field officer John Cunningham, said:
“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.
“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.”
The RSPCA cruelty line number is 0300 1234 999.
As well as being given a custodial sentence and disqualified from keeping animals, Tregurtha was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.