Stock feed employee convicted of starving horse

Stock feed employee convicted of starving horse

Heather Tasker Rose, a stock feed employee, failed to provide her Chestnut Standardbred Gelding, known as Rusty, with proper and sufficient food, and failing to take steps to have Rusty treated by a vet.

Ms Rose was fined $6,000 and ordered to pay $1,066.60 veterinary costs. Ms Rose was also banned from owning all animals for 10 years.

RSPCA inspectors investigated Rusty in a paddock in West Swan on April 3 2014, after receiving a cruelty complaint.

When inspectors found Rusty, the 23-year-old horse was emaciated with its ribs, hip bones and vertebrae protruding. Rusty was suffering from severe muscle wastage, and appeared lethargic as inspectors approached him.

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Rusty was removed from the property and conveyed for urgent treatment to Valley Equine, West Swan. Unfortunately Rusty's condition deteriorated even further and he was euthanized on humane grounds.

6RSPCA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift said the case was confronting for inspectors given the extreme state of Rusty's malnutrition and emaciation.

"When an owner takes an animal into their care, it is the owner's responsibility to provide sufficient levels of food, water and veterinary treatment. In Rusty's case sadly this was not afforded to him," she said.

"Cases of animal cruelty such as this are simply disgusting."

The RSPCA would like to express its thanks to concerned members of the public who reported the cruelty, Valley Equine, West Swan who treated Rusty and to David Garnsworthy, Barrister, Howard Chambers, who assisted in this court matter on a pro bono basis.

  • In the first half of 2014 RSPCA WA has reported a spate of incidents with a 100% increase in deliberate animal bashings
  • RSPCA WA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has been a voice for animals in Western Australia for over 120 years
  • RSPCA is a charity and relies on fundraising activities for 94% of its funding.
  • RSPCA upholds five freedoms for animals and believes all animals deserve freedom from: hunger and thirst, discomfort, pain, injury and disease and also from fear and distress.
  • To report incidents of cruelty call the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline on 1300 278 3589


RSPCA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift is available for interview this afternoon between 3.30-5pm.

Media contact: Katherine Mountain, Shine Communications 0405 069 499