A sanctuary for life for 15 young horses from the Whispering Willows sanctuary

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A sanctuary for life for 15 young horses from the Whispering Willows sanctuary

In November 2019 a total of 137 horses from the Whispering Willows sanctuary were signed over to horse charities after concerns were raised about the condition of some of the horses. This week, the owner of Whispering Willows horse sanctuary, Sandra Jane Kaverneng-Stolp (commonly known as Sandra Stolp), pleaded guilty to four Animal Welfare Act offences relating to 22 horses at Swansea Magistrates’ Court (15 February). 

The Sanctuary took in 15 very young colts as part of the multi-agency rescue led by the RSPCA in conjunction with World Horse Welfare, Redwings, Bransby Horses, The British Horse Society, The Horse Trust, Blue Cross and The Donkey Sanctuary.  

According to the RSPCA, Stolp 54, admitted in court that her failure to adequately explore and address the poor condition or injury of 22 horses led them to suffer unnecessarily – contrary to section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.  At sentencing, she was banned from keeping all horses for ten years, told to pay £1,000 in costs, a £90 victim surcharge and must serve a 20-week curfew in which she must not leave her home between 9pm and 6am. She must also wear a tag for the duration of the curfew.

On arrival, the young horses were in need of immediate veterinary care. They were underweight, malnourished and suffering with severe parasite burdens. Further veterinary tests showed many of the ponies had significant liver damage and growth development issues, likely to have been caused by insufficient nourishment and early separation from their dams.  

Our Chief Executive, Sarah Jane Williamson said: “The number of horses and ponies in need of crisis intervention continues to grow due to increasingly complex circumstances. Through collaboration between experienced equine welfare organisations who are members of The National Equine Welfare Council, we can achieve more for animal welfare together.” 

Syra Bowden, Director of Equine said: “A vitally important part of our work is to educate people about how to properly care for horses, including the costs in terms of time and money. This includes advising smaller equine welfare organisations who despite their size, have the same responsibility as larger charities like ours, to meet the needs of every equine in their care.

The youngsters taken in as part of the Whispering Willows rescue will now have safety for life at the Sanctuary and they will be soon ready to find a Sanctuary at Home with one of our knowledgeable carers. 

We hope to keep you updated on their progress.

If you haven’t already done so, and can afford to, please help us continue providing expert care to these 15 colts and all of the 220 horses and ponies in our care by donating to our special appeal.