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Woman lets animals starve while on holiday

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Anna Hitchings

A NSW woman who holidayed in Hawaii and left several farm animals to starve has been convicted of animal cruelty.

Ronnette Sarah Smith, 43, left a horse and a cow sick and hungry on her Stanborough property, near Inverell in the state's north, when she flew to Hawaii for a week in September.

She was convicted in Inverell Local Court last week after pleading guilty to one charge of aggravated animal cruelty and two charges of animal cruelty in relation to the horse and a deceased cow.

"This is a potent reminder at this time of year, when many people will be taking holidays, to make considerable and appropriate considerations for the welfare of your animals," RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector David O'Shannessy said on Monday.

The RSPCA was called to the property late in September to find a starving and worm-riddled horse and a dead cow with a bucket of water and some hay nearby.

The horse was seized and examined by a vet, who found it completely emaciated, suffering dermatitis, cracked toes, long hooves, and several body wounds as well as an extraordinarily high worm count.

Ms Smith admitted the cow had been recumbent when she left so she left the hay and water next to it before leaving.

She said she had forgotten to tell anyone about it and did not seek veterinary treatment for either animal when she left on September 19.

She was fined $500, placed on a six-month good behaviour bond and ordered to pay $2347 in veterinary and agistment costs.

"The welfare of your animals always needs to come first, and while Ms Smith has displayed thoughtless and reckless behaviour, we are confident that this conviction will make her and others think twice when they have unwell animals that need veterinary care," Mr OShannessy said.

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