starving foal on groundWith his glossy coat and love of riding with his new family, you wouldn’t know what a terrible situation Banjo came from.

When I came to his paddock he was tethered to a tree. Another horse was dead nearby with a foal who was very underweight and unable to stand. The paddock was a sandy, barren wasteland with no grass for the horse to eat.

You would imagine that these wonderful majestic animals were in a paddock far from humans to get to that state. But no, these lovely horses were only 50 metres away from the house of their owner - they were so close they could have seen them.

I want to help save animals like Banjo

My name is Kylie and I am a Senior Inspector with RSPCA WA. Every day I see animals facing situations of cruelty and neglect. Like all pets, horses rely on their owners for food, water, love and care. It’s tough to see, but neglected animals like Banjo rely on us to help them.

When I arrived and saw the state of the horses I knew something was wrong. The mare, Ellie, was dead, her legs entangled in the fence.

The attending vet believed she had been lying down for some time before she died. The little foal, Lucy, couldn’t stand. Her bones were protruding and I could see her spine and ribs.

Banjo was tied up to a tree and I could also see his ribs and spine.

All three horses were in a shocking state. I had to do something to help them. I knew that it was urgent that the vet see Banjo and Lucy. But after the vet examined both horses, the sad decision was made that Lucy had to be put to sleep as she was unable to be saved.

There was no reason for these horses to suffer.

As you know, RSPCA operates a 24-hour welfare line where we can help owners. We can provide food and offer advice. In some circumstances, we can take the animals for those who have no other option.

I was at the property for a couple of hours while I organised the removal of the deceased horses, as well as the transportation of Banjo. During that time, Banjo remained perfectly still where he was standing. Who knows what was going through his mind while he watched on as Ellie and Lucy were removed from the property.

If help hadn’t arrived, would Banjo have suffered the same fate?

horse standing in paddockBanjo was taken into veterinary care so he could be thoroughly examined. It was determined that Banjo’s condition was solely caused by a lack of nutrition. Banjo didn’t even need anything special, he put on weight being fed an ordinary diet.

He then joined us at the RSPCA Shelter at Malaga.

While I know that this is a terrible story to read, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for poor Banjo.

He was placed with a wonderful foster carer, who said to me:
"Banjo was such a lovely horse. From the moment he arrived, he was a very easy horse to handle.

Over the first year, he relaxed into the herd and regained his full health. It was then as he started to fatten up, that I started to see signs of his cheeky personality! He became best friends with my mare Amelia. The two of them, I called them the ‘brat pack’ of the herd. They would often lead the pack in big runs around the paddock, bucking and galloping around."

This wonderful foster carer decided to adopt Banjo, because of his fun and cheeky personality. She thinks he is such a kind and loving boy. To think where he could have ended up!

Banjo’s previous owner was successfully prosecuted for animal cruelty and sentenced to an intensive supervision order for twelve months and 100 hours of community service. The owner was also prohibited from being in charge of a horse for three years.

Today, Banjo is living a great life! He’s fit and healthy, and spends wonderful quality time with his new owner who loves him!

We simply cannot rescue animals like Banjo without the support of people like you!

RSPCA WA relies on generous donations and community support for around 90% of what it costs us to carry out our animal protection work.

In Banjo's case, those donations helped to pay for external vets, medical checks, agistment, shelter and nutritious food to ensure Banjo regained his health.

Donate to help more animals like Banjo

horse riding in field chestnut horse