8 September 2014

An experienced horse owner was fined $16,000 and prohibited from owning or being in charge of any animal for 15 years after pleading guilty to animal cruelty charges in the Joondalup Magistrates Court on Friday, 5 September 2014.

Richard Robert Drozd, 52, Wanneroo, pleaded guilty to eight charges of animal cruelty relating to the severe neglect of three Arab horses and a pony.horse severely neglected in paddock

The animals were seized by RSPCA Inspectors in February 2013 after grave concerns for their health and welfare.

Remarkably, a stallion which was emaciated so badly that he collapsed several times during initial treatment, has since made an incredible recovery after 12 months of intensive rehabilitation by the RSPCA.

During the investigation, Mr Drozd told Inspectors that a vet came out to check the horses, however further investigations revealed that this had not occurred.

Mr Drozd claimed he was unable to afford food for the horses after separation from his wife however he would not consider giving the remaining horses away. Mr Drozd refused to surrender the horses to the RSPCA until months in to the investigation.

Chief Inspector Amanda Swift described the stallion in this case as one of the worst cases of horse neglect she had seen in her 15 years with RSPCA in WA and in the UK.

"Mr Drozd is an experienced horse owner and has the knowledge to know the requirements to care for a horse. The treatment of these horses is disgraceful and his actions completely inexcusable" said Ms Swift.

"The good news is that, against the odds, two of these horses were successfully rehabilitated and are now in great condition and in loving homes. It's quite amazing to see how they have been transformed" said Ms Swift.

After receiving treatment, the pony and one horse were euthanized due to unrelated medical conditions.

Mr Drozd was also ordered to pay over $10,000 in veterinary costs.

The two horses who were successfully rehabilitated and are now in great condition and in loving homes.