Lawyers pro bono work obtains animal welfare conviction for SPCA
Aaron Lloyd and David Tong of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts yesterday obtained a conviction on behalf of the Auckland branch of the SPCA as part of the firm’s commitment to pro bono work. The District Court at Manukau convicted Alison Freemantle-Pilkington, 57, of Papakura for seriously neglecting five horses in her care. Judge Moses ordered her to complete 220 hours of community work, ordered her to pay $4,526.71 in costs, and disqualified her from owning horses for five years.
Ms Freemantle-Pilkington owned a number of horses, which she kept at a property in Karaka. In July 2010, the Auckland SPCA received a complaint from one of her neighbours and so inspected her horses. The inspector found that five of her horses were malnourished and instructed her to feed them. When he returned, he found that she had not adequately done so and that the horses’ condition had worsened significantly.
One horse, Jasper, had signs of scouring and although the inspector ordered that he be stabled and cared for, he died overnight. Another, Ace, showed signs of scouring the next day, so the inspector instructed a vet put him down. The Auckland SPCA uplifted the three remaining horses, which recovered with veterinary attention and proper feed.
The Auckland SPCA charged Ms Freemantle-Pilkington with ill-treating Jasper and Ace and with failing to provide proper food and veterinary attention to the other three horses. Ms Freemantle-Pilkington pled not guilty.