Before and after: Woody the brave horse survived extreme neglect

November 05, 2018

Woody was in simply horrific condition when seized by RSPCA inspectors in June 2016.

The 19-year-old Thoroughbred was so emaciated and skeletal that an attending veterinarian gave him a body score of 0 out of 5 – the lowest possible score.

The scene got worse when Woody’s winter rug was removed. The veterinarian reported “a putrid smell … due to a weeping pressure sore on the point of his wither”.

Woody was so heartbreakingly thin that his rug had literally rubbed holes in his skin across the bones. The old boy was also suffering long and diseased hooves, which he could barely walk on, and had swollen legs and bad teeth.

A second chance at life for Woody

After seizure, Woody was placed with our friends at Windamere Horse Haven, where he has thrived under a nutritious diet and proper stabling conditions.

He also got a new name – the beautiful old boy is now known as Monty. And he’s available for adoption!

“Monty is doing very well. He receives so much TLC and access to fresh, green pasture,” Windamere’s Nicole told us.

“Monty would make a wonderful companion horse. He loves to hang out in his shelter, out of the wind and rain, and is not afraid of dogs, goats or kangaroos.

“He’s also in great condition for a senior horse – there’s no reason why he shouldn’t enjoy several more years with a special human.”

Bringing Woody’s former owner to justice

Meanwhile, we at RSPCA continued our fight to bring Woody’s former owner to justice.

Woody on the day of seizure in June 2016.

In Mount Barker Magistrates Court on August 30, 2018, the defendant pleaded guilty to neglecting Woody.

She was given a six-month good behaviour bond, ordered to pay $600 in legal and veterinary costs, and banned from owning any horses not already in her care for six months. The magistrate opted not to record a conviction.

Woody looking happy and healthy now.

We’re sharing Woody’s story as part of our Combat Cruelty campaign. For the first time ever, we’ve released full details of almost every cruelty case we prosecuted last financial year. See the files and take our Combat Cruelty pledge.

RSPCA South Australia is the state’s only animal welfare charity empowered to prosecute animal cruelty under SA’s Animal Welfare Act. If you see animal cruelty or neglect, please immediately call our 24-hour hotline on 1300 4 777 22. Learn more here.


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8 thoughts on “Before and after: Woody the brave horse survived extreme neglect”

  1. Niall stephen

    $600 and good behaviour that’s no where near what the public expects for this

  2. Larissa

    6 months in gaol a more just punishment
    On starvation rations


    I think when the punishment matches the crime there will be less cruelty – that’s what we need to work on but in the mean time thanks so much to the RSPCA for restoring faith back into this poor horse – what a beautiful animal

  4. Tanya Selth

    That horse looks even worst then mine did when he was dying of cancer after twice vets missed he had cancer. The penalty for this horse was not enough and why were not the other horse’s in this persons care removed too. It is sad someone can do this and basically get away with it.

  5. Amanda Penta

    6mths not owning is ridiculous! Life ban should be implemented! The penalties are laughable! Why should this person be given another opportunity? No reason why sentencing should not match human neglect. No excuse!!

  6. Andrew Kennedy

    Such poisonous human beings as Monty’s former owner should be locked up and the key should be thrown away

  7. amelia vanderhosrt

    i think what yous are doing is great and hope u will get to continue to do it and do u have any other horses just out of cerisoty

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