A woman who abandoned 20 animals - including two donkeys - at a livery yard has been handed a five-year ban on keeping animals.
Nicole Williams, of Grace Road, Leicester, appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Monday 5 June where she pleaded guilty to four offences of failing to meet the needs of her animals.
Williams moved her animals to a 'do-it-yourself' livery yard on 24 October last year - but within a week, it became clear that she was not attending to clean and feed them.
The RSPCA were contacted and promptly attended the yard where they found Williams’ animals - two Labradors, a German Shepherd and an eight-year-old sprocker, five unnamed eight-month-old kittens and two 14-year-old male donkeys called Bert and Eric - living in poor conditions.
RSPCA inspector Kristy Ludlam said: ‘The two donkeys were being kept in a paddock which had no hard-standing ground for them or shelter - two things which donkeys need. They were also being kept in the same paddock as the horses, which we would never recommend as donkeys have different needs to horses.’
The Donkey Sanctuary is committed to supporting donkeys most in need, so when the RSPCA asked if we could care for Bert and Eric while they investigated the case we arranged for them to be housed at our nearest holding base.
Hannah Bryer, senior welfare adviser at The Donkey Sanctuary, said: ‘Bert and Eric have certainly grown to enjoy their home comforts and love having a clean, dry straw bed to escape to when the wind and rain sets in. It is a far cry from their previous living environment which was muddy with no hard standing or shelter to protect them from the elements. Since coming into our care last winter we have seen their personalities flourish.
‘Although they can still be wary of new people and certain situations, they are much friendlier and are at ease in the company of their grooms. Both donkeys are stallions so we can now arrange for them to be castrated and introduced to other donkeys. We are happy to officially welcome Bert and Eric to The Donkey Sanctuary family and thanks to the generosity of our supporters we able to offer them a safe and secure future for the rest of their lives.’
All of the animals have now been recovered and are either in new homes or have been reserved by new owners. As well as the five-year ban on keeping animals, Williams was also ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work and told to pay costs of £750 and a £75 victim surcharge.