SPCA prosecutes man for repeat offences against Cashew the pony
A repeat animal offender in Palmerston North has beensentenced to community detentionafter failing to provide medical treatment for his pony, Cashew, who was “barely able to walk”.
Former pony club president Peter Walters was prosecuted by SPCA and found guilty of ill-treating a pony in the Palmerston North District Court on August 16. Yesterday he was sentenced to five months’ community detention and ordered to pay reparations of $656.00 and $1000.00 contribution to legal fees. He was also disqualified from owning horses for five years.
On 29 April 2016, an SPCA inspector and a veterinarian, acting upon information received, attended the defendant’s property. They found Cashew, a bay and white horse, standing in an almost sawhorse stance, and rocking left to right on his front limbs, which he had extended out in front of him.
The veterinarian found that Cashew’s feet were grossly malformed and long, and heat was felt over the coronary band and front wall of both hooves, a sign of chronic laminitis. It was noted that Cashew spent periods of time lying on the ground to alleviate his pain, indicating he would have suffered significantly when he needed to rise in order to eat or drink. The veterinarian assessed Cashew’s pain as being at the highest end of recognised pain scales applied in veterinarian practice.
Cashew’s owner had previously been prosecuted in relation to Cashew’s care. In 2010, the defendant was found guilty of neglecting to care for Cashew’s hooves, resulting in difficulty standing and walking. As a result of the neglect, Cashew developed laminitis, a painful hoof condition.
Following his first conviction, the defendant engaged the services of a barefoot trimmer in an effort to manage Cashew’s condition. Cashew was managed in this way until December 2015. His painful condition worsened over the next five months, during which time he had no medical care.
Due to the extreme level of pain he was suffering when he was seen by the veterinarian in April 2016, Cashew was humanely euthanised.
“It is inconceivable that Cashew suffered in such a sad state, due to the neglectful actions of his owner,” says SPCA CEO AndreaMidgen.
“SPCA inspectors often see horses and ponies suffering from chronic and severe laminitis due to a lack of appropriate hoof care management.”
“We’d like to remind all New Zealanders that our animals are completely dependent on us for food, shelter, companionship, and treatment if they get injured or fall ill. If you own an animal, it is your responsibility to provide these fundamental things.”