SPCA to recommend animal cruelty charges for starving Princeton horses

The SPCA is planning to recommend animal cruelty charges against the Princeton man who had five starving horses on his property.

Babe and two other horses rescued from a man in Princeton eat at BC Interior Horse Rescue in Kelowna.

Babe and two other horses rescued from a man in Princeton eat at BC Interior Horse Rescue in Kelowna.

The SPCA is planning to recommend animal cruelty charges against the Princeton man who had five starving horses on his property.

The severely malnourished horses were rescued from a ranch near Princeton in mid-February.

The charges will be recommended to Crown council, who will then decide whether to press charges.

“I feel we have evidence to support a charge,” said Kathy Woodward, BC SPCA senior animal protection officer.

It will take around a month for Crown council to decide whether to press animal cruelty charges, she said.

But like other animal cruelty cases, it could take years before a ruling is made.

The SPCA interviewed witnesses and spoke with veterinarians as part of its investigation.

Woodward said she has seen offenders spend time in jail or face substantial fines for animal cruelty cases.

The five horses are recovering at the BC Interior Horse Rescue Society in Kelowna after being surrendered by their owner, who reportedly said he could not afford to feed them.

By the time the rescue society heard about Peaches – the most underweight horse – she only weighed 500 pounds, less than half the weight she should.

The other horses were also underweight, but not as bad.

They are showing improvement every day, said BC Interior Horse Rescue president Joey Tompkins on the society’s Facebook page.

Hope is filling in very nice and is getting free feed of hay as well as supplements,” she said about one for the horses rescued from Princeton.

Torrie – the horse most untrusting of people – is allowing Tompkins to come up and groom her.

“She is starting to trust more and is enjoying the attention as well,” Tompkins said.

Jessie and Babe are making progress and could be available for adoption soon.

And Peaches – the most underweight horse – is slowly putting on weight.