Farmer who kept nearly 130 horses and 60 dogs in squalid barns is banned from keeping animals for life

A farmer who kept more than 200 animals in deplorable conditions, including nearly 130 horses and 60 dogs, has avoided prison time.

Christine Kelly, 60, kept dangerous barns for horses, dogs, donkeys, chickens, alpacas, and goats.

The RSPCA discovered pens full of donkeys, goats, and ponies inside two barns, with many standing on top of two to three feet of waste and feces that had accumulated over months.

Dozens of dogs were discovered chained and tethered in the filthy yard, some heavily pregnant and others with tiny puppies in tow, while others were locked inside tiny cramped cages or makeshift kennels.

The RSPCA said after police raided the farm in Ripley, Surrey, on January 9, 2019, that many of the animals were skinny and had untreated conditions.

Huge herds of ponies, many of which were infested with worms, were living in fields with dangerous metal and broken fencing protruding from the thick mud.

Rescuers discovered horses, dogs, and farm animals living in deplorable conditions, with three being put down at the scene and 14 dying or being euthanized after vets attempted to treat their illnesses.

There were 204 animals discovered at the site, but two horses and one goat had to be put down.

Charities took in the remaining 201 animals, which included 129 horses and donkeys, 59 dogs, three alpacas, five goats, four chickens, and one duck.

Some of the sickest animals received immediate veterinary care, while others were transported to a nearby facility for treatment.

Despite urgent veterinary care, including from vets at one of the country’s leading equine hospitals, 14 horses who were weak and emaciated died or were put to sleep on the advice of veterinarians.

Some had severe worm infestations and were suffering from cyathostominosis, a stomach lava.

Despite the charities’ best efforts, two dogs, one goat, one chicken, and one duck had to be put down.

Later, 20 foals were born in charity care, two of which were stillborn, as well as six goat kids, one alpaca, and nine puppies, two of which died shortly after birth.

Kelly was found guilty of failing to provide a suitable environment, a water supply, adequate nutrition, routine dental or farrier care, or adequate parasitic treatment or control, as well as treatment for illness and disease prevention, to 131 equines.

She was also found guilty of inflicting unnecessary pain on a number of horses, dogs, and goats.

The charges involve over 130 horses, as well as dogs, donkeys, poultry, and goats, though she claimed throughout the investigation that she was not responsible for all of the animals discovered on-site.

Kelly claimed she only had dogs and cared for six horses for her grandchildren.

However, a district judge found her guilty of 15 offenses earlier this month, including five for failing to meet the needs of a number of animals on the farm and ten for causing unnecessary suffering.

Kelly was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and barred from owning any animals for the rest of her life at Staines Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, August 25.

A deprivation order was also issued for 12 dogs and seven horses, allowing the charities to rehome them.

All other animals had previously been signed over to charities for care or rehoming.