We recently worked with the RSPCA to rescue Tinkerbell and Fudge from a field near Yelverton. Our welfare team was alerted to a problem with the horses by a member of the public. The team paid multiple visits to the site to try and work with the owner and arrange proper vet care for the horses. It eventually became clear that the pair were at serious risk and were being neglected.
At the Mare and Foal Sanctuary we always try to work with owners to help them provide the right care for their horses. We offer non-judgemental advice and no-shame support to all horse and pony owners. Unfortunately, in very rare cases owners are not open to the support we offer and refuse our help. If this happens and we believe a horse or pony is in danger, then we have no choice but to take further action.
As a charity we do not prosecute. If we feel that the law needs to be involved in a case we turn to the RSPCA. This is what happened in the case of Tinkerbell and Fudge. The horses were able to be taken away by the RSPCA to receive the vet care they desperately needed. The owner was prosecuted and found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and sentenced to a nine-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.
We put the wellbeing of horses and ponies first and work with other agencies to make sure there is a positive outcome whenever possible. Most people want to care well for their horses and ponies but might need a helping hand with support. We are always here to be that helping hand.
Image courtesy of the RSPCA.