Cruel Chesterfield duo kept horses and cats in “appalling” and “horrendous” conditions
A Brimington pair kept horses and cats in “appalling” and “horrendous” conditions - described by a vet as “one of the worst environments I’ve seen in 34 years’”, a court heard.
Judy Shaw and Peter Hardy were found to be keeping 31 cats in an “oppressive and wholly unhealthy environment” - in a locked static caravan, two lorries and a small shed.
While horses at the same Unstone paddocks where the cats were kept - some emaciated - were found infested with lice with overgrown and deformed hooves.
District Judge Andrew Davison told Chesterfield Magistrate’s Court how one horse - described as “very thin” - was found lice-infested with dirty skin and coat and mobility issues “because of the state of its hooves”.
During a raid of the pair’s paddocks - at an undisclosed location in Unstone on July 2, 2019 - RSPCA inspectors found a horse with part of its hoof “unprofessionally” removed - not by a farrier but by Shaw herself.
Mr Davison said another animal - discovered with “visible spine” was “dull in its responsiveness”.
Telling how the horses’ poor health should have triggered a call to a vet Judge Davison said: “I find insufficient evidence of any action being taken to address these concerns.”
Unbelievably, Shaw’s appearance this week came after she was found guilty in 2018 of causing unnecessary suffering in respect of two other horses.
Twenty-two horses were found in poor state however a veterinary expert told the judge during their December trial how 31 cats and kittens found at the property were kept in “nauseating” conditions.
Judge Davison told the court on Monday how the flea-infested felines - some found with “watery eyes” and “breathing difficulties” - were kept in “extremely” hot “greenhouse” conditions in the caravan.
Mr Davison said the “oppressive and wholly unhealthy environment” was subject to an “extremely poor state of cleanliness by the depth and sheer quantity of cat faeces and urine.”
During Shaw and Hardy’s trial Shaw, 48, told how she had “complete responsibility” for the “pets” and that her co-defendant had no part to play in their welfare.
However Judge Davison said: “She may have regarded them as her pets but I do not accept her subjective definition in terms of what was found that day.”
The judge said the awful conditions were “starkly described” by RSPCA inspectors - with cats “scratching at doors, walls and windows” in the “oppressive and wholly unhealthy environment”.
While he described video recordings of the appalling conditions seen during Shaw and Hardy’s trial as “hard to watch”.
Shaw, of Dorset Close, Brimington, was found guilty of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in relation to the cats and convicted on nine counts in relation to the horses - including causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet their welfare needs.
Hardy, 68, also of Dorset Close, was convicted of nine charges for the horses - including causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet their welfare needs.
The pair will be sentenced next month.