At least seven horses seized by the SPCA this fall are up for adoption as soon as animal-abuse files are readied for Crown counsel.
SPCA special constable Kent Kokoska said Wednesday he’s about two weeks away from completing a report to go to Crown.
The society has dealt with the cases of 16 horses this fall. These seven came up before the emaciated horses that were shown to the media.
“We have a multitude of investigations going on,” he said.
“We have six files in public attention involving horses.”
Six of the seven horses almost ready for adoption have just been gelded; when they recover, they’ll be looking for homes. Another two horses might be ready to join them soon.
But these aren’t your pony-ride type equines. Kokoska noted that some of the horses haven’t even been halter broken. They will need owners who have experience and knowledge.
Of that total of 16 horses seized or surrendered, seven had to be euthanized because they were in critical distress, including a few of those that had been shown in the media.
Kokoska said on Dec. 20, another search of the pasture where four emaciated horses came from was done. Five more horses were removed.
He didn’t know how long it will take for Crown counsel to review the files, once they’re submitted, but it usually takes at least a month before it’s determined whether charges will proceed.
Despite the sad circumstances of the emaciated horses, the awareness of their plight has benefited the SPCA and Kokoska.
Donations from fundraisers and the contribution of a horse sling have ensued, he said.
“It caused a lot of attention which has had very positive effects. People are more aware of what’s going on in their communities,” he said.
If the cases do go forward, the horse owners will likely be charged with neglect under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. If convicted, penalties can be as high as $75,000, and/or six months in jail.
Kokoska said charges can also be laid under the Criminal Code.
“There’s really no other circumstance that has contributed to these situations other than the neglect of the animal owners.”