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Man jailed: foals discovered ‘in a heap on the ground’ whereas different horses left to undergo

  • Six horses – including one being kept in a horsebox on a scrap yard with no food or water – have been rescued as part of a distressing welfare case where a dead kitten and the decomposing body of a puppy were found by RSPCA inspectors.

    John (Jason) Evans, 43, and Lisa Evans, 35, both of Pedmore Road, Brierley Hill, Birmingham, were sentenced at Coventry Magistrates’ Court on 12 September. In April the pair had pleaded guilty to charges under the Animal Welfare Act relating to six horses (of which three were foals), a donkey, 18 dogs, and three cats.

    West Midlands Police called the RSPCA to the couple’s property on 29 July 2021 owing to concerns for the welfare of the animals. When RSPCA inspectors arrived at around 9pm they had to use head torches to search for the animals and discovered the three foals curled up together “in a heap” on the floor.

    RSPCA inspector Jack, who attended the property, said the enclosure was too small for the number of animals and there was no hay or food available.

    “The floor was completely sodden with a large build up of faeces and the roof wasn’t large enough to cover the animals inside. This was compounded by the numerous hazards dotted around the enclosure including gates and ladders on the floor,” he said.

    Another pen contained a horse whose ribs and hips were “clearly visible”. No food or water was available, the floor was layered with faeces, and the only access to the enclosure had been blocked with car doors and an engine, pallets, and other large objects, indicating it had not been opened “for a long time”.

    A horsebox sat in a scrap yard behind the property was found to contain a horse, who was “caked in faeces” around his legs and feet. His ribs and hips were also showing and he had no food or water. A container was found to contain another horse in poor condition.

    The inspectors also discovered two kittens alongside a dead kitten, and the skull of another. Two lurchers were found in poor bodily condition, tethered to kennels with no food, water or bedding and six more dogs were found in another kennel. The decomposing body of a dead puppy was found in a transit van, and more dogs were found in crates and a shipping container.

    Inspector Alderson said the case was “one of the worst” animal welfare situations he had ever been faced with.

    In mitigation it was heard that the couple’s actions “were not deliberate” but down to “incompetent care”.

    The horses and the donkey survived; some were taken into the care of the RSPCA and others went to other welfare charities for rehoming or sanctuary.

    John Evans was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison. Lisa Evans was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. She must also do 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days with a critical thinking programme. The pair were both banned from keeping animals for life, which cannot be appealed for 10 years. They each must pay £500 costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

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