By Mitchell Clarke
A Cranbourne South woman has been banned from owning horses for three years after she was charged with four counts of animal cruelty.
Jessica Louise Davis was also hit with a $3000 fine after her negligence resulted in the death of one retired thoroughbred horse and the seizure of another.
Between 1 July and 1 August last year, the 30-year-old failed to feed a 16 year old mare named Molly and a 15 year old gelding named Loco.
The sick and starved horses were also denied adequate vet care, resulting in the death of Molly and Loco being surrendered to the RSPCA.
The court heard Ms Davis was unable to attend the Dandenong Magistrates Court due to mental health issues.
Magistrate Leonard Brear revealed she sent “quite a moving” letter, but wouldn’t elaborate on the contents of that letter, refusing media applications to access detailed information and images from the case.
Davis pleaded for a fine of $1500 but that was rejected by the Magistrate who said it wouldn’t reflect the severity of the charges. But she walked away without a conviction and managed to avoid a 12-month jail sentence or a fine of around $40,000, with the court taking into account she had no relevant priors.
Star News Group understands this is one of several equine related cases currently being investigated across the state by RSPCA Victoria.
In the 18/19 financial year, there were 10,601 reports to the Victorian Inspectorate regarding horses – a 21 percent increase from the previous year.
Almost 70 percent of all horse reports related to underweight animals, insufficient feed or insufficient water.
Outside court, an RSPCA spokesperson said the outcome of this case should act as a general and specific deterrence to animal cruelty offenders.
“We stress that owners need to provide adequate food for their answers, and where this is not possible they should surrender to RSPCA Victoria or another animal rescue, or responsibly sell or re-home.
“Anyone who has concerns about the welfare of an animal is encouraged to make a report to our Inspectorate via our website at www.rspcavic.org/report or by calling us on 9224 2222.“