Horse seized, owner charged in cruelty investigation

West Bay

COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — A Coventry woman was charged with animal cruelty after her miniature pony was found with overgrown hooves, according to the Rhode Island Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA).

RISPCA President Joe Warzycha said the investigation began after they received reports that the miniature stallion was in distress.

Warzycha said when they visited the home, they noticed the horse’s hooves were overgrown, making it difficult for him to walk.

When examined by a veterinarian, Warzycha said they learned the horse was actually suffering from laminitis, which is described as the inflammation of the “sensitive layers of tissue in the horse’s hoof.”

“This is a very painful condition which does cause lameness,” Warzycha said.

Coventry Animal Control and the RISPCA worked together to seize the horse. The owner, Melissa Tansey, was charged with one count of unnecessary cruelty.

The horse, named “Toy,” is now up for adoption. The RISPCA is also collecting donations towards Toy’s medical expenses.

Anyone interested in making a donation towards Toy’s veterinary care or adopting him can contact the RISPCA at (401) 438-8150.

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