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Homes sought for 17 horses from Britain's horror farm

June 10, 2010

Britain's RSPCA is seeking new permanent homes for the first 17 horses seized in 2008 in the biggest equine rescue operation in British history.

The SPCA is seeking homes for 17 of the horses seized from Spindles Farm in 2008.

The 17 horses were among more than 100 taken from Spindles Farm, in Buckinghamshire. The bodies of 32 horses were also found on the small farm.

The animals have been under the care of charities - the RSPCA, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, World Horse Welfare and The Horse Trust - costing hundreds of thousands of pounds for their rehabilitation, while the legal process took its course.

The final appeals have ended, resulting in the conviction of five members of the horse-trading Gray family over the care of the horses, and the animals have been forfeited under court order to the charities.

The heaviest sentence was handed down to James Gray, who is serving an eight-month sentence.

The RSPCA said it was now seeking permanent owners for 17 of the horses, being looked after at various RSPCA animal centres across England and Wales.

It said it hoped the remaining 20 horses and ponies in its care will be available for rehoming in the near future.

Speaking about when the horses first came into the RSPCA's care, equine rehoming officer Sally Learoyd said: "Some were young, some ancient, some were sound and some wrecked. They were all sick and sorry and in desperate need of our help.

"Their rehabilitation has been a fascinating journey to witness and a testament to the bravery and patience of horses."

The case has so far cost the RSPCA £2.3 million in legal fees, veterinary bills and for the animals' on-going care.

Other charities have footed the bill for the horses they are looking after and are making separate arrangements for their future care.

Learoyd said: "These horses have been through a terrible ordeal and we need to find extra special permanent homes for them.

"We're looking for patient, experienced owners who have the facilities, time, knowledge and money needed to care for the horses for the rest of their lives.

"These horses are mostly youngsters, so potential adopters will need to be able to offer a long-term commitment.

"The horses are of the type you might expect to find on a dealer's yard - mostly cob and Shetland types."

Learoyd warned that a substantial commitment in terms of time and money would be needed by anyone thinking of taking one of the horses.



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