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Woman disqualified from owning pets

Last updated 20:13 07/11/2012

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A Papakura woman has been disqualified from owning animals for five years and sentenced to 220 hours community work after a horse died of starvation in her care.

Alison Freemantle-Pilkington , 57, was sentenced today in the Manukau District Court for failing to alleviate unreasonable pain or distress to three horses, failing to provide three horses with proper and sufficient food, and two counts of ill treatment of two horses by failing to provide sufficient food and medical care.

The charges were laid following a 2010 visit to Ms Freemantle-Pilkington’s property by an SPCA Auckland inspector, who found five horses emaciated and with little to no feed.

One died from starvation and another was later euthanised on humane grounds.

The remaining three were taken into the care of SPCA Auckland and have since been adopted.

SPCA Auckland executive director Bob Kerridge says the sentence Ms Freemantle-Pilkington received is appropriate.

‘‘Although this case does not suggest any deliberate or malicious mistreatment, it does represent an extreme case of neglect with tragic outcomes, results which are simply unacceptable,’’ Mr Kerridge says.

‘‘Horses are sentient, as are all animals, and accordingly are capable of feeling pain and distress, as these horses undoubtedly did. This is unacceptable and could have been averted if veterinary advice had been sought or the SPCA had been asked to help earlier.’’

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