Three family members have been banned from keeping equines for life after their pony was found collapsed in a field in Essex .
Spirit, since renamed Frugal, was originally reported to the RSPCA by a member of the public in December 2012. RSPCA Inspector Matt Gough immediately attended the site, in Tilbury, Essex , and found a two-year-old piebald cob in a state of collapse. He was unable to stand by himself, so the local fire service had to attend to help lift him from the muddy field. The pony was taken to nearby vets House & Jackson who confirmed he was suffering from starvation from a simple lack of food. After a few days he was transferred to Redwings Horse Sanctuary, where he has now made a full recovery. Staff at the Sanctuary named the pony Frugal as he arrived just before Christmas.
The RSPCA have now brought a prosecution against three people who were supposed to be responsible for his care and recently (28 June) all three were banned for life from keeping horses when sentencing took place at Basildon Magistrates Court.
Victoria Jaggers of Wellington Road, Tilbury, her husband Kelly Trundle and her daughter Alicia Jaggers were all found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the horse and given a lifetime ban on keeping equines. Trundle was given a 12-month community order and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. The 42-year-old was also ordered to pay £250 costs and a £60 victim surcharge. Meanwhile Victoria, 39, and Alicia Jaggers, 21 were given a two-year conditional discharge and told to pay £250 costs and £15 victim surcharge each
The pony belonged to Victoria Jaggers, but it was her husband Keith Trundle who had been supposed to be looking after the animal for the six months leading up to the RSPCA’s rescue. Basildon Magistrates’ Court was told that Mr Trundle had been assisted by Mrs Jaggers’ daughter, Alicia Jaggers. When interviewed by the RSPCA, Miss Jaggers said that she had cared for Spirit until approximately three months before he was found collapsed. However, due to personal reasons she had been unable to regularly tend to the horse after that time.
RSPCA Inspector Matt Gough said: “Frugal was in a very sorry state when we found him. He clearly wasn’t receiving proper care, and hadn’t for some time. It is no excuse to plead ignorance when looking after any animal. Both women were aware that Mr Trundle had limited knowledge of caring for horses, and yet failed to act even when Frugal collapsed. Anyone who has responsibility for an animal has a legal duty of care towards that creature. The failure to do just that in this instance resulted in the matter being put before the court.”
Redwings Welfare Vet Nicola Berryman said: “When Frugal arrived he was still so weak he couldn’t stand by himself and had to be lifted manually by the team. He was covered in sores from where he had been stuck down for so long. This is a case of neglect, pure and simple. We are delighted to report that he is now fully recovered, but no matter what the circumstances, he should never have been allowed to get into this state in the first place. Please please please ask for help if you think you can no longer cope with your animal, and never take on a horse in the first place if you don’t have the means or time to care for them.”
Frugal has now been signed over into the permanent care of Redwings.
To donate towards the care of Frugal, text £2 HORS30 to 70070.