27 February 2023

A 40-year-old woman from Margaret River has been charged with animal cruelty, after her miniature pony was found with severely overgrown and painful hooves.

An RSPCA WA inspector attended a property in Cowaramup where the pony was located on 10 October 2022, after receiving a cruelty report. She found the pony in an overgrown paddock with no access to water. He was hunched over and struggling to walk or stand.

The inspector called in an external vet, who noted the pony’s hooves were excessively overgrown due to chronic neglect. She also found he was suffering from laminitis–a condition causing inflammation inside the hoof–which would have been present for at least six months.

The vet advised the pony was in extreme pain and required immediate treatment.

RSPCA WA seized the horse due to suspected animal welfare offences. He was provided pain relief before being removed from the property.

The accused has been charged under sections 19(1) and 19(3)(h) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002. RSPCA WA will allege the pony suffered harm which could have been alleviated by taking reasonable steps.

The charge will be heard in Busselton Magistrates Court on 7 March.

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.