Woman Sentenced for Cruelty to Horse

Woman Sentenced for Cruelty to Horse

A 72-year-old woman from Jelcobine, 115km south-east of Perth, has today been sentenced after pleading guilty to one charge of animal cruelty in the Armadale Magistrates Court. 

She was fined $18,000 and ordered to pay costs of $4,300. She has also been prohibited from owning livestock for five years.

The woman was charged with failing to take reasonable steps to alleviate harm to her horse, Shakira, under Section 19(3)(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002.  

In February 2019, the RSPCA received a complaint regarding concerns for a grey horse who appeared to be injured on a property in Jelcobine. 

When the WA Inspector went to the property, she saw a horse with a large wound – which the treating vet later assessed as being approximately 75-90cm long and 30-40cm wide - near her wither (shoulder).

The open wound was so big and the resulting infection so severe that part of Shakira’s spine was exposed.

The infection had also invaded the horse’s neck which had swollen, and puss was bubbling out of cracks in her skin.

In consultation with a vet who examined Shakira, a decision was made to seize the animal. She was sedated and taken to an external vet for emergency treatment where test results revealed a severe bacterial infection that had likely been present for more than two weeks.  

Given the stage and extent of infection, and the size of the wound, it was determined by the attending external vet, and two other vets at the same practice, that any treatment would be inhumane and the only humane option was to end Shakira’s suffering.

Executive Manager Animal and Enforcement Operations, Hannah Dreaver, said Shakira’s ordeal could have been avoided, and the initial injury healed, if the offender had sought medical attention sooner.

 “It’s heartbreaking when you think there was absolutely no need for Shakira to suffer over such a long of period of time, if only her owner had sought treatment for the injury when it first happened,” Hannah said.

“Imagine how painful a wound of that size, and the symptoms of infection, must have been. 

“Our animals rely on us for everything. Getting vet treatment when you notice something isn’t right is as much a part of responsible pet ownership as supplying them with food, water, shelter and love.

“If you notice any change in your pet’s behaviour or condition, please get help as soon as possible and, if you can’t afford it, please ask for help. There is never an excuse for letting your pets suffer needlessly.

“Thank you to the person who noticed something wasn’t right with Shakira and alerted us. We rely on the community to report incidents of suspected cruelty and neglect, so please don’t be afraid to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.

“Thank you so much, as well, to lawyers K&L Gates Perth who provided pro-bono assistance in this case.”

Report cruelty 24/7 on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or at rspcawa.asn.au

 

Comments

  • Gail Genero:

    26 Nov 2020 19:16:16

    I would like to see much harsher penalties for cruelty to animals including jail sentences and hefty fines. The punishment given is too lenient and not a real deterrent. I would like to see the RSPCA take action to have stricter penalties imposed. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

  • chris brenton:

    26 Nov 2020 21:08:27

    just wondering why the perpetrator’s name is not mentioned here – is that a requirement of the court?

    tx

  • Margaret McRae:

    27 Nov 2020 22:19:31

    When I learn of the abject cruelty which so many innocent creatures are forced to endure at the hands of their callous, ignorant, cruel owners – I feel utterly ill to the pit of my stomach!!!
    This woman got off very lightly in my opinion – she should have been banned from owning ANY animals for life!!!
    As should all of the others who come before the Courts!!!! Also. they should serve a considerable time behind bars!!!! Perhaps to be better informed as to how to treat animals with the respect & loving care that they deserve???

  • RSPCA WA:

    01 Dec 2020 10:30:42

    @Gail – RSPCA WA works with the Government to share community sentiment regarding animal welfare issues. This includes sentiment regarding sentences for animal cruelty. Sentences are handed down by magistrates – RSPCA WA presents the case against the offender, but in the end, the magistrate is the only person who determines a sentence based on evidence presented in court.

  • RSPCA WA:

    01 Dec 2020 10:32:11

    @Gail – RSPCA WA works with the Government to share community sentiment regarding animal welfare issues. This includes sentiment regarding sentences for animal cruelty. Sentences are handed down by magistrates – RSPCA WA presents the case against the offender, but in the end, the magistrate is the only person who determines a sentence based on evidence presented in court.

  • steve howlett:

    03 Dec 2020 12:03:48

    re animal welfare—I totally agree sentences are too lenient—leaving the last word to the magistrate is absolutely mad…..as this is a community problem its time the rest of us etc had a big powwow and sorted it out.

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