Three people from Stouffville have been charged with neglect under the Ontario SPCA Act following an investigation into the treatment of horses in their care.

On May 3, 2018, an Ontario SPCA officer attended a rural property in Stouffville after receiving a concern about the welfare of a herd of horses. The officer observed 14 horses and one pony living in unsanitary conditions. A veterinarian was brought in to examine the horses, which were found to be in thin body condition, with ribs, hips and spine easily visible on many of the animals. Their hooves were also severely neglected.

Thirteen deceased horses were also located on the property in various levels of decomposition.

Three Stouffville residents have been charged with permitting an animal to be in distress, failing to provide adequate food and failing to provide care necessary for general welfare. They are due to appear in a Newmarket Provincial Offences Court on July 6, 2018.

“We conducted a thorough investigation and are aware that there are bodies of deceased horses on the property,” said OSPCA spokesperson Melissa Kosowan. “The evidence compiled during our investigation resulted in three individuals being charged with permitting an animal to be in distress, failing to provide adequate food and failing to provide care necessary for general welfare. The legislation is written to address the situation as a whole, but if new evidence reveals additional charges are warranted, we will follow up accordingly.”

She added, “The maximum penalty, if convicted, is two years in jail, a $60,000 fine, or both.”

The horses from the Stouffville property have been re-homed and the Ontario SPCA continues to monitor their care to ensure all veterinary recommendations are being followed.

“There is no excuse for failing to provide the necessary care for your animals,” says Alison Green, Senior Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “If you fail to provide for them, there will be consequences under the law.”

To report animal cruelty, contact the Ontario SPCA’s province-wide animal cruelty hotline at 310-SPCA (7722).