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Ayrshire woman receives £500 fine following Scottish SPCA investigation

Pony's overgrown hoof

A woman from Ayrshire has been handed a £500 fine with a £20 victim surcharge following a Scottish SPCA investigation.

72-year-old Anne McCrae Dick of Tarbolton, Mauchline pled guilty to failing to provide necessary farriery treatment and veterinary care for her pony and donkey at Ayr Sheriff Court on 26 May 2022.

Inspector Caitlin Rea, said, “On 22 October 2021, we attended the property of Anne McCrae Dick in response to a report regarding a pony with overgrown hooves that were curling upward.

“There was no reply at the door so a calling card was posted. A few days later, we spoke to Mrs Dick on the phone and advised that she must make an emergency appointment with a farrier as a matter of urgency.

“Despite several calls and voicemails requesting Mrs Dick to confirm she’d made an appointment with a farrier, we received no response.

“We revisited the property on 2 November 2021, but there was again no response. We could see a black Shetland pony and a grey miniature donkey grazing in the field.

“We proceeded to take a closer look. The donkey approached and we immediately noticed her feet were overgrown, in particular her front feet.

“The pony was reluctant to walk and was sweating which is an indication of pain. She was not interested in grazing so it was clear that she was suffering.

“When we eventually managed to reach Mrs Dick, she stated that she was on holiday and confirmed that she hadn’t made any appointments with a farrier but that she would do so when she returned home. She refused to have her own vet attend and was advised that we would be calling an independent vet to examine the pony, Ebony, and Annie the donkey as treatment could not be delayed any longer. Mrs Dick terminated the call.

“Ebony was administered pain relief to make her more comfortable while being transported to the veterinary surgery. Both animals were found to have chronic laminitis, an extremely painful condition affecting the tissues bonding the hoof wall to pedal bone in the hoof. Ebony’s heart and respiratory rates were elevated. Closer examination also revealed that Annie was suffering from loose and decaying teeth as well as ulcerated gums caused by severe dental overgrowths.

“Judging by the amount of growth on their hooves, it was estimated that Ebony and Annie had been suffering for six to nine months. These equines needed emergency treatment for their feet and teeth.

“Their lack of proper care unfortunately resulted in Ebony having to be put to sleep to end her suffering. Annie, now renamed Diamond, is currently being cared for by one of our animal rescue and rehoming centres. After receiving the treatment she needed, Diamond is now ready to find her forever home.

“This is a very disappointing result given the severity of the neglect. Knowing there is nothing in place preventing the accused from owning or caring for equines going forward is equally concerning and frustrating. Ebony and Annie need not have suffered had their owner acted responsibly and sought the necessary farriery and veterinary treatment. 




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