3 May 2023

A 39-year-old woman from Champion Lakes has been charged with animal cruelty, after allegedly starving her two horses until they were ‘skin and bone’.

RSPCA WA was alerted to the horses by a member of the public and attended the accused’s property on 28 December 2022. The inspector found two male Thoroughbreds at the back of the property, noting both were in very poor body condition, with the outline of their ribs, hips, and spines visible.

The accused admitted the horses were ‘pretty much skin and bone’, but said she believed this was due to a virus. She said the horses had been seen by a vet six weeks prior, but further inquiries by RSPCA WA found no record of recent treatment.

The inspector called in an external vet to examine the horses. She confirmed both were extremely emaciated, with significant muscle wastage, and needed immediate treatment.

RSPCA WA seized both horses due to suspected offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2002. They were transported to a vet hospital and underwent testing, which did not show a viral infection.

With proper feeding, both horses, aged 10 and 13, quickly gained weight in the RSPCA’s care. The accused has been charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege the horses were not provided with proper and sufficient food.

The charges will be heard in Armadale Magistrates Court on 16 May.

The maximum penalty for a charge of animal cruelty is a $50,000 fine and five years in jail.

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.