Mexborough & Swinton Times, April 06
Horse with Bad Leg
Conisborough Owner Fined for Working It.
A Conisborough man, Arthur William Gammons, (31), of Castle Terrace, who said that owing to the war he had had to give up his fishmonger´s business and was now employed at a Rotherham steelworks, was fined £3. at Doncaster on Saturday for having ill-treated a horse by working it in an unfit state.
Norman Young, R.S.P.C.A. inspector, of Rotherham, said he was in Station Road, Conisborough, at 12.15 p.m. on March 8 th when he saw Gammons in charge of a chestnut grey mare, which was pulling a small, flat fish cart. The animal was very lame in a hind leg. He told Gammons that the horse was lame, and he replied “It has always walked on its toes. I had a vet to it about a year ago”. Witness added that the pony, which was over 20 years old, was in a fair bodily condition. The fetlock on the lame leg was very swollen and heated and pained the animal when touched. The pony was incapable of putting the foot to the ground properly and could only walk on its toes. It was shot later the same day.
P.c. Bilble said the pony was lame and its foot very sore. When told he would be reported Gammons said: “I shall have it destroyed rather than have any further trouble about it”. “I never saw a horse walk like it in my life. It was obviously in an unfit state to work”. Added witness.
Mr. J. G. Dunk (defending) said the horse was 20 years old and was extremely well looked after. During the summer it was turned out to grass, and towards the end of November was taken into a stable. Defendant claimed that in a horse of that description there was a tendency, when it was taken into the stable; to develop stiffness of the legs. He took it to a blacksmith, who gave treatment to the legs and shod the animal three weeks before the alleged offence. The blacksmith told Gammons that the stiffness would disappear and the horse would be in a good condition after half an hour´s exercise.
Gammons said he carried on his business before the war at 37, Church Street, Conisborough, and had had the pony for nine years. He worked it for four days a week and four hours a day. He had it re-shod every two or three weeks. On the day he was pulled up by the inspector the pony stubbed its toe in a pot-hole, while he was delivering fish. It sprained a fetlock, but this did not appear to be a serious injury, and he thought it would be all right if he worked it quietly for half-an-hour.
The Chairman (Ald. G. Probert) said the magistrates appreciated the action of Inspector Young in bringing the case. One redeeming feature was that Gammons carried out the advice of the inspector by having the horse destroyed.