Dagenham man banned from keeping animals after starved pony found collapsed


18-month-old pony Max was found collapsed and emaciated by the RSPCA. - Credit: RSPCA

A man has been banned from keeping animals after a pony was found starved and unable to move.

Carl Knowles, of Halbutt Street, Dagenham, appeared before Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on June 1.

The 31-year-old pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to a pony by failing to ensure he received appropriate veterinary care for his poor condition.

RSPCA inspector Jessica Dayes and animal rescue officer Rebecca Yarrow joined police in Harlow on December 14 where they found 18-month-old gelding, Max, collapsed.

Insp Dayes said the pony was not making any attempt to stand because he was so weak. He was laid down with his front legs tucked under his body.

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According to the RSPCA, Max's hips and spine were visible and there was a pile of faeces behind him showing he had been in the same position for some time.

Bread had been placed before him, but it was wet and not eaten. The only water was muddy and in a purple bucket. 

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Max was seized by police and given pain relief by a vet. He had open pressure sores on both elbows and the space between his front legs.

Skin lesions on the limbs and both points of the elbow had deep, ulcerated wounds.

When Max was examined at an animal hospital, the vet decided to put him to sleep on humane grounds to prevent him suffering further.

Insp Dayes said: "The vet report stated it was unacceptable for any equine to be left collapsed, without the ability to move freely for days without seeking further professional advice.

"The emaciation should also have been investigated and treated. Appropriate treatment should have been sought for the pain and discomfort caused by the wounds.

"All of Max’s conditions should have led any reasonable owner to seek immediate veterinary care."

In mitigation, Knowles argued a vet was called but he could not afford the cost of treatment.

He was also given an 18-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.

He was disqualified from keeping animals and cannot appeal for 10 years. He was ordered to pay £600 costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

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