A COUPLE who kept ponies “imprisoned” en “horrendous” stables have been banned from keeping animals for life.
Cruel Jack Carter, 75, and his wife Barbara, 73, left the animals lying in their own filth and crammed into ramshackle stables so packed the doors couldn’t open.
The ponies were found with matted fur, llagas, overgrown hooves, unable to stand up straight and displaying “perturbador” behaviour due to their horrific ill-treatment.
The RSPCA had to dig their way through muck and litter while breaking down the wooden walls of the stables to free them from the Carter’s clutches.
After swooping on the couple’s home after a worried local raised concerns about the animal’s welfare, inspectors were left “desconsolado” to discover the extent of the neglect the ponies had suffered.
RSPCA inspector Vicki McDonald said she had “had never seen anything like it in my entire career” after visiting the property in Tarleton, Lancashire.
Numerous investigators had previously attempted to check up on the ponies, but were routinely fobbed off with excuses by Jack Carter.
But Ms McDonald eventually turned up at the home alongside Lancashire Police officers in April 2021, to find the pair had neglected “every basic aspect” of care for nine horses.
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She said Jack Carter initially denied there were any ponies or horses on site, pero “reluctantly agreed” to show her the stable situated behind their house.
The inspector first came across a grey pony “stood on top of deep rotting litter that had built up so much that it reached the top of the stable door.”
“The pony was unable to fully stand up and its back protruded through a hole in the stable roof,” ella añadió.
The animal also had “severely overgrown feet” while its “hooves extended out and corkscrewed.”
Another three ponies were discovered in another restrictive stable with “very little room for them to move around or even stand normally,” with one of their backs protruding through a hole in the roof.
“They seemed very stressed and erratic,” Ms McDonald continued. “I noticed that all the ponies had matting to their coats.
“They also had patches of sore skin, most likely from having no option but to lie in their own filth.
The extreme level of neglect I witnessed in this case is unlikely to ever be surpassed and will remain with me.
“To say the physical and environmental conditions of these ponies was shocking is a gross understatement. Their backs reached the stable roofs.”
The RSPCA inspector said it was “obvious” none of the animals had been out of their stables or been seen by a farrier for a very considerable amount of time – if at all.
After enduring “prolonged, wholly avoidable and totally inexcusable” suffering at the hands of the elderly couple, all four ponies had to be put down.
A vet who tended to the ponies said the conditions they had been kept in were “extremely barbaric”.
Another five ponies which belonged to the couple were then found at a nearby property in Liverpool Road in a “neglected state”.
Ms McDonald said they had access to food and water, pero “had a range of health issues”.
Four of them had to be put down, while one remaining horse was taken into care to be rehabilitated and rehomed.
The RSPCA spokeswoman continued: “It was heartbreaking to find them in such a neglectful state and for them, after such an awful life, to be beyond saving.
“The extreme level of neglect I witnessed in this case is unlikely to ever be surpassed and will remain with me.”
The Carter’s were spared a prison sentence by Preston magistrates due to their “medical needs and age”.
The presiding magistrate had said the case crossed “the custody threshold” and instead handed them 12-week suspended sentences, pero agregado, “if it was not for these factors you would be going straight to prison.”
They heard how the couple had previously been given the opportunity to work with the RSPCA but did not seek help.
The couple received a lifetime ban on keeping animals and were both ordered. to pay £500 costs.
PC Sean Dalby, a wildlife officer for Lancashire police, said of the case: “This was a shocking case of needless cruelty to several ponies that should not have happened.
“I am happy that the court took the matter so seriously and the South Rural Task Force will continue to investigate and target animal cruelty offenders.
“We would like to thank the RSPCA with this case and will continue to support them.”