RSPCA disappointed with sentence

RSPCA Qld has described the sentence handed down to a Kin Kin woman as very disappointing and sending out the wrong message when it comes to animal welfare.

Tina Maree Ramsdell, 38, of Main Road, Kin Kin pleaded guilty in the Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday to failing to provide appropriate treatment for her 10-year-old Clydesdale “Pete” and tampering with seized evidence.

The court heard that in December 2007 a vet advised Ms Ramsdell that Pete required surgical intervention in order to avoid losing his eye. In April 2008 Pete first came to the attention of RSPCA Inspector Julia Steley as the eye condition appeared to have remained untreated.

However during the investigation Ms Ramsdell and Pete disappeared and were unable to be located by the RSPCA.

In July 2009 Pete was finally found after the RSPCA again received a complaint that the horse’s eye was infected and untreated.

The court was told that on that occasion Ms Ramsdell was given an animal welfare direction to seek veterinary attention for Pete whose eye infection had clearly got worse and he had pus streaming down his head.

She was given instructions by the RSPCA based on veterinary advice. However she refused to follow this advice.

The RSPCA decided to seize the horse and it has been in RSPCA care for eight months.

After treatment with antibiotics, a tumor, the mass of which was larger than the vet’s hand, was pulled from behind the eye. Pete was left blind in the affected eye.

Veterinary advice received by RSPCA was that had the tumour been treated earlier the horse would most likely have retained his sight. Pete has been in foster care since the operation.

Ms Ramsdell was fined $500, ordered to pay RSPCA costs of $4600 – both amounts have been referred to SPER – and Magistrate Maxine Baldwin ordered the horse be returned to her.

“We’re very disappointed with the result,” Assistant Chief Inspector Tracey Jackson said.

“We have very real concerns for the future well being of the horse.”

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