4 November 2021

A 72-year-old woman from Jelcobine, south-east of Perth, has been convicted in the Armadale Magistrates Court of animal cruelty and failing to comply with an order that prohibited her from owning animals.

She received a $20,000 fine, suspended for 12 months, and was banned from owning or coming into contact with animals for 15 years for the cruelty offence. For failing to comply with a previous prohibition order she received a suspended jail term of six months and 15 days.

On 14 May 2020, an RSPCA inspector went to the offender’s property in response to a cruelty complaint. The inspector saw a number of horses on the property. They included a deceased horse and a horse who appeared in very poor condition, both in a laneway paddock. The inspector didn’t see any food or water in the paddock.

A skinny horse was found in the paddock near an already deceased horse

The horse in poor condition, a female named Remi, had signs of muscle wastage and the outline of her spine, ribs and hips were clearly visible.

Remi the horse showed signs of muscle wastage as a result of being starved  The outline of the horse

RSPCA inspectors returned to the property with a vet whose initial assessment concluded Remi was underweight due to a lack of food. As the inspectors were loading her on a horse float to remove her from the property, the offender returned home.

She told inspectors the deceased horse had died six weeks earlier due to a tummy bug. She agreed to surrender Remi to the RSPCA and the horse was taken to Baldivis Vet Hospital where she weighed in at 284kgs. Ten weeks later, after receiving treatment and food, Remi’s weight increased to 350kgs. She is now in foster care and remains healthy.

Remi the horse at the vet the day she was rescued  Remi the horse made a full recovery in foster care

Inspector Manager, Kylie Green, said she was frustrated another horse has suffered.

'We have prosecuted this person before, we have done everything we can under the Animal Welfare Act to protect these horses and still we were confronted with Remi in terrible condition,' Kylie said.

'Who knows how long Remi was standing in that paddock, looking for something to eat but unable to find anything.

'Our animals rely on us for all their needs and there is no excuse for not providing for them.'

This week’s sentencing follows a previous conviction against the offender in October 2020, for cruelty to a horse named Shakira. On that occasion the woman was fined $18,000 and banned from being in charge of, or in contact with, livestock for five years.

The ban was ordered to begin on 31 December 2020 to give the offender time to re-home her horses. Visits by the RSPCA to the property in January, February and March this year all showed the woman was still keeping horses and cows.

'To blatantly ignore the prohibition order handed down by the court last year defies belief,' Kylie said.

Kylie thanked Dr Rob Davies of the Baldivis Vet Hospital and the Brookton Police for their assistance in this case.

The RSPCA relies on the community to report incidents of suspected cruelty and neglect. Report cruelty 24/7 on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358) or online here.