A MOTHER and daughter who say animals are their lives and their passion have been banned from owning horses, dogs or cats.

It follows the discovery of a number of animals on their Flintshire premises which had been neglected and kept in poor conditions, a court heard.

Things were so bad that one horse and one dog had to be put down immediately and a number of animals were seized.

Two cats have since had to be put down, North East Wales Magistrates Court at Mold was told.

A judge said horses were being kept in a paddock which was more skin to a pond while dogs and cats were not being kept in appropriate conditions.

Joy Veronica Edwards, 61, of Cherrywood, Gwespyr, near Holywell, said to have bred and shown horses at local and county level for many years, was banned from owning horses, dogs and cats for eight years.

She received a 12 week prison sentence suspended for a year with rehabilitation and 120 hours unpaid work after she admitted five charges brought by the RSPCA.

Mrs Edwards must pay £150 costs and a £115 surcharge.

The court heard a number of animals had been seized by RSPCA inspectors and she was prepared to sign over their ownership to them.

Her daughter Phillipa Edwards, 36, of the same address, who was said to have regarded her animals as her life, was banned from keeping animals for three years and was fined £300 with £150 costs and a £30 surcharge.

She admitted two charges and had asked that a horse and a dog should be returned to her.

But the banning order means that all animals including nine horses and three dogs still at the premises will either have to be either disposed of or signed over to the RSPCA.

A horse named Binka and a dog named Ben had been humanely put down by the RSPCA after they had been seized last year along with nine horses, two dogs and 15 cats.

Solicitor Glen Murphy, prosecuting, said a rat infestation had broken out at the premises and the council pest control officer had been called out.

The RSPCA was alerted because of the dirty conditions the animals were being kept in.

He said that the environment in which the animals were kept was not suitable and there was concern the defendants did not have the financial means or the physical ability to care for their animals.

Horses were in a paddock which was wet and muddy and they were dirty and not in a good bodily condition.

Bob Vickery, defending, said Joy Edwards had references from people who thought highly of her.

He said Mrs Edwards was in a state of distress that one of her horses had been shot and the carcass left for her to dispose of.

That had caused a huge amount of hurt, he said.

She accepted she should have had it put down earlier.

He had a genetic problem with his fetlocks and had a problem walking but she had bred the horse and had it a long time which coloured her judgement over when it should be destroyed.

She had been reluctant to have her dog put down and had been away and had not been fully aware of its worsening condition.

Mr Vickery said “The animals are their life. They live in an isolated rural location.”

Their difficulties had been made worse by one of the worst winters on record and they were unable to move them to other sites because there were none available.

He said they had indicated a huge degree of remorse and were anxious to co-operate with the RSPCA.

A probation officer said Joy Edwards completely disputed the RSPCA case against her despite her guilty pleas and said that as a result of bad press following the previous appearance they had lost a lot of friends and respect in the community.

She did not drink or smoke and animals were her “main passion”.

Phillipa Edwards was said to live an isolated life who had been bullied in school and who suffered significant mental health problems.

The judge said society demanded that people who had animals looked after them properly.

They had been kept in conditions more akin to the 18th or 19th century, he said.

A paddock where horses was kept was more like a pond and the conditions in outbuildings were dirty and had clearly not been cleaned for some time.

The inescapable conclusion was that there had been prolonged neglect, he said.

Some animals had to be put down which was the last resort as far as the RSPCA was concerned.

The judge said he had read testimonials on behalf of Joy Edwards but said the writers may have taken a different view if they had known the full facts.

Joy Edwards admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a Palamino mare known as Binka by failing to provide adequate veterinary care for a problem to its mouth, and for a problem with its fetlocks; causing unnecessary suffering to a Collie dog known as Ben by failing to provide adequate veterinary care for its poor body condition and ulcerated skin; and failing to protect four cats by not providing veterinary care for ear mites and failing to provide adequate diet, especially ready access to fresh water.

Phillipa Edwards admitted failing to provide a Jack Russell terrier-type dog known as Raven with a suitable environment and causing unnecessary suffering to one horse named Duckie.