WA couple convicted over starving horse

"It saddens me to think of the way Rio spent his last days." -RSPCA chief inspector Amanda Swift

A young WA couple whose starving pet horse had its ribs, hips and spine clearly showing pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and were each fined $2000 in Collie Magistrates this week.

The couple, both aged 20, were investigated after the RSPCA received a report from a member of the public regarding a starving horse on a property in Collie, south of Perth.

The RSPCA visited on May 29 last year and seized from a small fenced area a thoroughbred stallion named Rio in poor condition.

The horse, which was also observed ‘wind sucking’ and eating his own faeces, was taken to a nearby veterinary hospital where two days later he was put down when he could not stand.

RSPCA chief inspector Amanda Swift said it angered her to see people take on horses without the means to care for them properly.

“Horses are high maintenance and require a level of care much higher than other pets,” she said.

“While they might be easy to come by, please don’t take on a horse if you’re not financially prepared for their upkeep.

“On top of their substantial daily feed requirements, they require ample space, shelter and regular vet check-ups to ensure they remain happy and healthy.

“It saddens me to think of the way Rio spent his last days. If you’re struggling to care for your horses, please ask for help before it gets out of hand, as it did in this case.”

The couple were banned on Wednesday from being in charge of a horse or pony for five years, and ordered to pay $770.47 in veterinary costs and $102.65 in legal fees.

They were granted a spent conviction.