A horse named Pebbles was "effectively abandoned" by its owners and "failed" by its carer for up to 18 months as it lived with "severe" pain, became lame and unable to chew, a Tasmanian magistrate has said.
Burnie Magistrate Tamara Jago previously found Nicole Lee Boyd, David Anthoney Boyd and Paulo Antonio Pires all guilty of three counts of cruelty to animals and three counts of continuing cruelty to animals.
On Wednesday, Ms Jago convicted the trio of the crimes, fined them and disqualified them each from owning horses for a number of years.
Pebbles belonged to the Boyds, a married couple, and prior to 2017 lived on land belonging to Mr Boyd's mother, the court heard.
In 2017 Pires bought the neighbouring property and allowed Pebbles to continue to roam freely onto his land, on which the horse began "substantially living", Ms Jago said.
The ownership of the horse then became an "ad hoc" arrangement between the parties, Ms Jago said, and there was "considerable confusion as to who should be maintaining appropriate care".
IN OTHER NEWS:
Subsequently, over the next 12 to 18 months Pebbles' health and condition deteriorated significantly.
The court heard the horse's hooves became significantly overgrown and would have been so painful as to feel "on fire", her teeth and gum condition declined to such a degree she would have been unable to chew properly and she had developed a serious infection of parasitic worms.
Mr and Mrs Boyd effectively abandoned Pebbles.Magistrate Tamara Jago
Ms Jago said this occurred because the Boyds "unreasonably... abrogated their responsibility to Mr Pires", and Pires "failed to take appropriate steps" despite being "in a position to observe her declining health and condition".
"Mr and Mrs Boyd effectively abandoned Pebbles without making appropriate arrangements," she said.
"[And] Mr Pires... failed in his obligation to give appropriate care."
"[Pebbles was] a very vulnerable horse... entirely dependent on her caregivers. This was a situation of neglect," Ms Jago said.
Ms Jago clarified, however, that there was no intention by any of the parties to cause Pebbles harm or suffering and that "pleasingly" the horse had now received appropriate care and had fully recovered.
The Boyds were fined $1750 each and banned from owning horses for three years, and Pires was fined $2250 and banned from owning horses for five years.