A man from Redcar has been sentenced for causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of four horses.

 

John Pybus (D.O.B 06.02.63) of Grewgrass Lane, Redcar pleaded guilty to five offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 at a hearing at Teesside Magistrates’ Court last month (27 February).*Cliff when rescued

 

He was given an 18-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and a 12-month community order including 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He was also ordered to pay £800 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Pybus was disqualified from keeping all animals except dogs for ten years.

 

The RSPCA attended Pybus’ address along with World Horse Welfare on 20 August. World Horse Welfare had previously received a call from a concerned member of the public and given advice to Pybus about two horses in July but when they re-visited found that the thoroughbred geldings had deteriorated and called us.

 

RSPCA Chief Inspector Mark Gent said: “The grey horse, Dimitri, had a wound to his right shoulder that was maggot-infested.

 

“His ribs, hips and spine were all visible but he was active and alert.

 

“The area he was in had very limited grazing, no hay or supplementary food and the water that was available to him was green.

 

“Cliff (pictured) – a bay – appeared to be very thin, with his ribs, hips and spine all visible and he appeared to be lethargic with his head hanging low.”

 

Following vet advice the two horses were seized by police and both were taken into the care of World Horse Welfare. Dimitri was signed over on the day and Cliff at a later date. Sadly, it was discovered that Dimitri had fractured withers and he was put to sleep on vet advice. Cliff remains in the charity’s care at the moment as they continue to prepare him for re-homing.

 

World Horse Welfare Field Officer Sarah Tucker said: “Wherever possible we will always try to work with horse owners to resolve problems in situ but unfortunately Pybus ignored the advice and guidance given to him. Dimitri was clearly in need of urgent medical attention for his painful wound and both horses were in very poor condition – even though there was a barn full of hay at the premises.

“Thankfully, we were able to remove both Dimitri and Cliff to safety and give them both the dedicated care and veterinary treatment they needed. Dimitri was found to be suffering fractured withers which could not be treated so the difficult decision was made to put him to sleep but thankfully Cliff is flourishing in our care and will be looking for a new home soon.”

 

On 17 December, another RSPCA inspector attended the Pybus’ address after concerns were raised for a collapsed horse at the location.

 

Chief Inspector Gent said: “A chestnut gelding called Jango was found down and gasping for breath when the inspector arrived.

 

“He was very thin and his ribs, hips and spine were all visible.

 

“He had a bandage on his front foreleg, and when the bandage was removed there was a wound which was very smelly, soft to touch and was oozing with puss. He also had numerous patches of rain scald that were red in colour. Pybus said the horse had become ill quickly and he was planning to get a vet out to him.

 

“Jango was seen by a vet at the scene and they advised that he should be put to sleep to prevent him suffering any further.”

 

A five year old chestnut gelding horse called Tizer was in another stable at the site. He was also thin with his spine and hips visible. He and two other horses – who there were no welfare concerns regarding – were signed over to the RSPCA and removed. They remain in RSPCA care whilst they are being prepared for rehoming. A further horse was signed over at sentencing who is being assessed.

 

In mitigation, the court heard that someone else owned the animals but no evidence of this could be found.

 

*The full offences Pybus pleaded guilty to are:

 

1.   That between the 30th July 2018 and the 20th August 2018 at an address on Grewgrass Lane, Redcar you did cause unnecessary suffering to protected animals, namely, horses known as Dimitri and Cliff and you knew or ought reasonably to have known your failure to adequately explore and address the causes of the said animals’ weight loss would have that effect or be likely to do so contrary to S.4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 

2. That between the 30th July 2018 and the 20th August 2018 at an address on Grewgrass Lane, Redcar you did cause unnecessary suffering to protected animals, namely, horses known as Dimitri and Cliff and you knew or ought reasonably to have known your failure to ensure the said animals received appropriate veterinary care for their wounds have that effect or be likely to do so contrary to S.4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 

3. That between the 30th July 2018 and the 20th August 2018 at an address on Grewgrass Lane, Redcar you did not take such steps as were reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure the needs of protected animals, namely horses were met to the extent required by good practice in that you did not ensure they were protected from pain, suffering, injury and/or disease and/or provided with a suitable diet, as a consequence of your failure to adequately explore and address the said animals’ poor condition contrary to S.9(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 

4. That between the 26th November 2018 and the 17th December 2018 at an address on Grewgrass Lane, Redcar you did cause unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, namely, a horse known as Jango and you knew or ought reasonably to have known your failure to adequately explore and address the causes of the said animal’s poor condition would have that effect or be likely to do so contrary to S.4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

 

5. That between the 26th November 2018 and the 17th December 2018 at an address on Grewgrass Lane, Redcar you did not take such steps as were reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure the needs of a protected animal, namely, a horse known as Tizer were met to the extent required by good practice in that you did not ensure the said animal was provided with a suitable diet contrary to S.9(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.