Cruel couple bought their children a pony and kept it in tiny shed in the rubbish-strewn backyard of their terraced town centre homeLisa and Wayne Badger bought Diddy the pony for their two children Kept him in cramped shed with no natural light and fed it on vegetablesBanned from owning animals for ten years and fined £1,150
A cruel couple have been banned from owning animals after they bought their children a pony – and kept it in a dark shed in the back garden of their small terraced home.
Lisa and Wayne Badger stored the cute animal in the locked 6ft x 4ft shed in their rubbish-strewn garden with no natural light at their house in the middle of Dudley town centre, West Midlands.
A court heard the couple purchased two-year-old Diddy as a present for their kids – but only fed him on bits of vegetables and potato peelings.
When RSPCA inspectors found Diddy on February 20, 2011 following a tip-off, he was so emaciated that his backbone was visible.
Forlorn: Diddy the pony in the back garden of a home in Dudley where it was kept in appalling conditions after being brought as a present for two children
Cramped: The shabby shed surrounded by junk where Diddy was kept at night time
Dudley Magistrates Court heard how the poorly pony was discovered dirty and lice-infested in the couple’s 15ft long garden surrounded by a quad bike and gas canisters.
Inspectors originally cautioned Mr Badger, 28, and told him to visit a vet and move Diddy to a field.
But when they returned two days later the pony was found in exactly the same state.
The pony was seized and taken to a vet where it was treated for lice and malnourishment.
On Wednesday, the couple pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure its needs were met.
District Judge Graham Wilkinson banned the pair from owning animals for 10 years.
Lice-infested Diddy wanders through the garden. Former owner Lisa Badger said they took on more than they could handle
Diddy was so malnourished when rescued by RSPCA inspectors that his backbone was visible. He had been fed on vegetables and water
He also gave the pair a 12 month supervision order and ordered them to pay 1,150 in vet and court costs.
Judge Wilkinson said: “Every young girl wants a pony, but everyone knows that they are expensive and that they have complex needs.
“But you put one into a back yard and took little care of it.
“Naively, you tried to provide the horse with food and water, but you were totally ill-equipped to deal with the animal.”
The court heard the pony, which had been bought by the couple for their six-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter, had been living in the shed and had been fed on a diet of vegetables for at least four weeks.
Nick Sutton, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “A inspector called round and was shown through the house to the garden where there was a garden area with rubbish and a shed.
Cramped: Hay is strewn on the floor of the shed alongside scraps of vegetables and a bucket of water
Urban: The small terraced home in Dudley where parents Lisa and Wayne Badger live, and somehow thought it would be acceptable for a pony to live in the back garden
“Inside the shed was the pony. It was emaciated with its back bone clearly visible. It was dirty and lice infested.
“The shed had no natural light, on the floor there was a bowl that had vegetables within it.”
Lisa, 31, who is as a full time carer for her son, said yesterday (Fri) they did not realise how much care the pony would need.
She said: “We bought Diddy from a man we knew because we wanted to treat our little children.
“We didn’t realise he would be such a handful. But he did see daylight – it was only at night that we put him in the shed.
“I have learnt my lesson, we were trying to find Diddy alternative accommodation because we knew we had taken on too much.
“The kids miss him very much – but they know it is for the best.”
RSPCA Inspector Paul Seddon said the pony had since been rehomed.
He said: “A small garden at a terraced house in the middle of Dudley full of hazardous paraphernalia is by no means a place for a complicated animal like a pony – they need a field.
“Diddy could hardly turn around in the shed and the conditions were completely unsuitable.
“He was living in darkness as the window was boarded up.
“It was a sad case but at least it has a happy ending as Diddy has now found a new place to live and is doing well.”